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The Duchy of Lorraine grew up between France and the Empire. It is one of the lands where the French and the Germans collided.  French was spoken in the west and Germany in the east. Sandwiched between the two, the Dukes walked a dangerous path between the two, always trying to balance one against the other.

The Duchy of Lorraine grew up between France and the Empire. It is one of the lands where the French and the Germans collided. French was spoken in the west and Germany in the east. Sandwiched between the two, the Dukes walked a dangerous path between the two, always trying to balance one against the other.

Charles V Leopold nominally reigned from 1675 to 1690. Lorraine was occupied throughout this period and, so, this Duke continued his families faithful service to his Hapsburg overlords. Charles commanded Hapsburg forces at the siege of Vienna in 1683.

Charles V Leopold nominally reigned from 1675 to 1690. Lorraine was occupied throughout this period and, so, this Duke continued his families faithful service to his Hapsburg overlords. Charles commanded Hapsburg forces at the siege of Vienna in 1683.

Leopold was Duke of Lorraine from 1690 to 1729. During these years the duchy was occupied intermittently by the French. Leopold went into exile for the first occupation but remained in the duchy afterwards.

Leopold was Duke of Lorraine from 1690 to 1729. During these years the duchy was occupied intermittently by the French. Leopold went into exile for the first occupation but remained in the duchy afterwards.

The Duchy of Lorraine in the mid-15th century

The Duchy of Lorraine in the mid-15th century

Arms of Maison de Croy

Arms of Maison de Croy

Nicholas I, Duke of Lorraine (r. 1470-1473) was an ally of Burgundy during his short reign and more concerned about his Italian adventures than his duchy.

Nicholas I, Duke of Lorraine (r. 1470-1473) was an ally of Burgundy during his short reign and more concerned about his Italian adventures than his duchy.

Château de Lutzelbourg (Lutzelbourg) in Lorraine.

Château de Lutzelbourg (Lutzelbourg) in Lorraine.

Gérard I, Duke of Lorraine Hadwiga. Gerard was the brother of Adalbert, first Duke of Lorraine of the House of Ardennes-Metz. This dynasty would provide all but three of the nations dukes during the period.

Gérard I, Duke of Lorraine Hadwiga. Gerard was the brother of Adalbert, first Duke of Lorraine of the House of Ardennes-Metz. This dynasty would provide all but three of the nations dukes during the period.

Amongst the provisions of the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), which ended the Thirty Years War was the return of the Duchy from the French to its rightful Duke. It took the French a century before they finally absorbed it. The descendants of the Dukes of Lorraine ruled the Empire until 1918.

Amongst the provisions of the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), which ended the Thirty Years War was the return of the Duchy from the French to its rightful Duke. It took the French a century before they finally absorbed it. The descendants of the Dukes of Lorraine ruled the Empire until 1918.

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