Vosges (French pronunciation: [voːʒ]) is a French department, named after the local mountain range. It contains the hometown of Joan of Arc, Domrémy.
The Vosges department is one of the original 83 departments of France, created on February 9, 1790 during the French Revolution. It was made of territories that had been part of the province of Lorraine. In German it is referred to as Vogesen.
In 1793 the independent principality of Salm (town of Senones and its surroundings), enclosed inside the Vosges department, was annexed to France and incorporated into Vosges. In 1795 the area of Schirmeck was detached from the Bas-Rhin department and incorporated into the Vosges department. The Vosges department had now an area of 6,127 km² (2,366 sq. miles) which it kept until 1871.
In 1794 the Vosges was the site of a major battle between the forces of Revolutionary France and the Allied Coalition. See Battle of the Vosges.
The Place des Vosges in Paris was so renamed in 1799 when the department became the first to pay the new Revolutionary taxes.
After the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871, 4% of the Vosges department in the extreme northeast of the department were annexed to the German Empire by the Treaty of Frankfurt on the ground that the people there spoke Germanic dialects. The area annexed on May 18, 1871 corresponded to the canton of Schirmeck and the northern half of the canton of Saales. Schirmeck and Saales had been historically part of Alsace. These territories, along with the rest of Alsace and the annexed territories of Lorraine, became part of the Reichsland of Elsaß-Lothringen. The area of the Vosges department was thus reduced to its current 5,874 km² (2,268 sq. miles).
In 1919, with the French victory in the First World War, Alsace-Lorraine was returned to France by Germany at the Treaty of Versailles. However, Schirmeck and Saales were not returned to the Vosges department, but instead were incorporated into the recreated Bas-Rhin department.
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