Lorraine is one of the 27 regions of France. The administrative region has two cities of equal importance, Metz and Nancy. Metz is considered to be the official capital since that is where the regional parliament is situated. The region's name is derived from the medieval Lotharingia.
The borders of the area called Lorraine changed much in its long history. In 843, Charlemagne had died, and the Holy Roman Empire was divided among his three grandsons. One of them was Lothair, and his realm, reaching from Frisia to Rome, was called Lotharingia. In 870, it was decided that the realm should be a duchy within the kingdom of East Francia. In 962, when Otto the Great restored the Empire (restauratio imperii), Lorraine remained a duchy within the Holy Roman Empire until 1766.