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The word arrondissement [ aʁɔ̃dismɑ̃ ] is derived from the French verb arrondir ( dt. Round off ) and is used to designate various administrative districts in France , Belgium , Canada and other countries influenced by French law, in some countries also as a designation for judicial districts .


The French arrondissements (excluding overseas territories)

Subdivision of the departments

The départements are divided territorially and organizationally into arrondissements. They emerged in 1800 and replaced the districts .

The main town ( chef-lieu ) of an arrondissement is also the seat of the competent administrative authority, the sub-prefecture ( sous-préfecture ) with the sub-prefect ( sous-préfet ) at the head. They are intended to support the prefect in safeguarding the interests of the central state on the ground. The administration of the arrondissement, in which the main town of the département is located, is led by the prefect (i.e. without its own sub-prefect).

Until 1814, in what was then French, what is now Germany on the left bank of the Rhine , the four departments ( Département de la Sarre , Département de la Roer , Département de Rhin-et-Moselle and Département du Mont-Tonnerre ) had the Arrondissements Arrondissement d'Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen), Arrondissement de Clèves (Kleve), Arrondissement de Cologne (Cologne), Arrondissement de Crévelt (Krefeld), Arrondissement de Coblence (Koblenz), Arrondissement de Simmern , Arrondissement de Bonn , Arrondissement de Trèves (Trier), Arrondissement de Birkenfeld , Arrondissement de Prum (Prüm), Arrondissement de Saarebruck (Saarbrücken), Arrondissement de Mayence (Mainz), Arrondissement de Kayserslautern (Kaiserslautern), Arrondissement de Spire (Speyer), Arrondissement de Deux-Ponts (Zweibrücken).

Subdivision of municipalities

The municipalities with special status Paris , Marseille and Lyon are divided into city ​​districts (arrondissements municipaux) .

Arrondissement as an administrative district in other states


The Belgian arrondissements

The ten Belgian provinces , which date back to former French departments , are divided into 43 districts as part of the central administrative structure, called arrondissementen in Dutch and arrondissements in French .

Burkina Faso

In Burkina Faso z. B. the cities of Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso divided into arrondissements.


The 10 departments of Haiti are divided into 41 arrondissements.

Canada (Québec)

Likewise, some cities in Quebec are divided into arrondissements. These are Montreal (see arrondissements of Montreal ), Gatineau , Québec , Saguenay , Longueuil and Sherbrooke .


In Morocco , the cities of Casablanca , Fez , Rabat , Marrakech , Meknes and Tangier are divided into arrondissements.


From 1964 to 1998, the Republic of Niger was divided into departments and arrondissements according to the French model. Since 2010 the boroughs of Niamey , Maradi , Tahoua and Zinder have been referred to as arrondissements.


Based on the model of the city of Paris , which has 20 arrondissements, the four cities of the Dakar metropolitan region have been subdivided into 43  communes d'arrondissement since 1996 . The city of Dakar itself has 19 of these arrondissements.


In Tunisia , only the capital Tunis is divided into fifteen arrondissements.

Central African Republic

In the Central African Republic , only the capital Bangui is divided into eight arrondissements.

Arrondissement as a judicial district

Arrondissements in the Netherlands, 2014


In the Netherlands , an arrondissement is a district of a 2nd level court (roughly like a German regional court district ). The Netherlands has been divided into eleven arrondissements since 2013.


The cantons of Waadt (Vaud), Wallis (Valais) and Friborg (Friborg) are divided into arrondissements, which serve as judicial districts .


In addition to the administrative districts mentioned above, the Belgian provinces are also divided into judicial districts, since 2014 a total of 12, which are called arrondissement judiciaire in French .

Individual evidence

  1. Historique de la decentralization. (No longer available online.) ANIYA. Réseau des collectivités nigériennes et françaises, archived from the original on April 6, 2012 ; Retrieved January 23, 2014 (French).
  2. République du Niger: Ordonnance n ° 2010-56 on September 17th, 2010. Portant érection des communautés urbaines de Niamey, Maradi, Tahoua et Zinder en communes à statut particulier ou villes et les communes les composant en arrondissements. (PDF) (No longer available online.) Association des Municipalités du Niger, archived from the original on February 2, 2014 ; Retrieved January 23, 2014 (French).