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Bas-Rhin (Alsatian: Unterelsàss) is a department of Francemarker. The name means "Lower Rhinemarker". It is the most populous and densely populated of the two departements of the Alsacemarker region, with 1,079,013 inhabitants in 2006.


Bas-Rhin is one of the original 83 departments created on 4 March 1790, during the French Revolution.

In the mid-1790s, following the French occupation of the entire left bank of the Rhine, the northern boundary of the department was extended north beyond the Lauter to the Queich river to include the areas of Annweiler am Trifelsmarker, Landau in der Pfalzmarker, Bad Bergzabernmarker, and Wörth am Rheinmarker. However, upon Napoleon's second defeatmarker in 1815, the Congress of Vienna reassigned the areas north of the Lauter to Bavariamarker; and those territories are now presently located in the neighbouring German state of Rhineland-Palatinatemarker.

The department has twice been incorporated into Germanymarker: from 1871 (after France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War) until the end of World War I in 1918, and again briefly during World War II (from 1940 to 1945).


The Rhinemarker has always been of great historical and economic importance to the area, and it forms the eastern border of Bas-Rhin. The area is also home to some of the foothills of the Vosgesmarker.

To the north of Bas-Rhin lies the Palatinate forestmarker (Pfälzerwald) in the German Land of Rhineland-Palatinatemarker, and the Land of Baden-Württembergmarker lies to the east. To the south lies the department of Haut-Rhinmarker, the town of Colmarmarker and southern Alsacemarker, and to the west the department of Mosellemarker in Lorrainemarker.


Strasbourgmarker, the chef lieu of Bas-Rhin is one of two seats of the European Parliamentmarker, the other being Brusselsmarker.

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