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Grand Duchy of Hesse

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Grand Duchy of Hesse and by Rhine
Großherzogtum Hessen und bei Rhein

Flag Coat of arms
Grand Ducal Hesse within the German Empire
Capital Darmstadt
Government Monarchy
Grand Duke
 - 180630 Louis I
 - 183048 Louis II
 - 184877 Louis III
 - 187792 Louis IV
 - 18921918 Ernest Louis
 - Established 13 August 1806 1806
 - German Revolution 9 November 1918 1918
 - 1910[1] 7,688.36 km2 (2,968 sq mi)
 - 1910[1] est. 1,282,051 
     Density 166.8 /km2  (431.9 /sq mi)

The Grand Duchy of Hesse (German: Großherzogtum Hessen) was a former state that existed in modern-day Germany. It was formed in 1806 after the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire as a result of the actions of Napoleon, who then elevated the former Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt to the level of grand duchy. For this reason, this state was occasionally known simply as Hesse-Darmstadt.


Because Hesse-Darmstadt was a member of Napoleon's Confederation of the Rhine, it was forced to give up a considerable amount of territory at the 1815 Congress of Vienna. The territory of the Duchy of Westphalia, which Hesse-Darmstadt received from the 1803 Reichsdeputationshauptschluss, was given to the Kingdom of Prussia. However, it received some territory on the western bank of the Rhine, including the important federal fortress at Mainz.

The Grand Duchy changed its name to the Grand Duchy of Hesse and by Rhine (German: Großherzogtum Hessen und bei Rhein) in 1816.

Subdivisions of Hesse

The three provinces of the Grand Duchy of Hesse: Upper Hesse, Starkenburg and Rhenish Hesse

The Grand Duchy of Hesse was divided into three provinces:

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