Simplon (department)

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Department of the First French Empire


Flag of Simplon

Location of Simplon
Administrative map of the Italian portion of the French Empire.
Capital Sion
46°11′N 7°41′E / 46.183°N 7.683°E / 46.183; 7.683Coordinates: 46°11′N 7°41′E / 46.183°N 7.683°E / 46.183; 7.683
 •  Established 1810
 •  Disestablished 1814
 •  1812[1] 5,000 km2 (1,931 sq mi)
 •  1812[1] 65,500 
Density 13.1 /km2  (33.9 /sq mi)
Bond of the Département du Simplon, issued 7. December 1812; probably the oldest bond from Switzerland

Simplon [sɛ̃.plɔ̃] was a department of the First French Empire. It was named after the Simplon Pass (Italian: Passo del Sempione). It was formed in 1810, when the Rhodanic Republic was occupied by the French. Its territory corresponded with that of the present-day Swiss canton of Valais. The capital of Simplon was Sion.

The department was subdivided into the following arrondissements and cantons (situation in 1812):[1]

Its population in 1812 was 65,500, and its area was approximately 500,000 hectares.[1]

After the final defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815, the department became the Swiss canton of Valais.


  1. ^ a b c Almanach Impérial an bissextil MDCCCXII, p. 469-470, accessed in Gallica 31 July 2013 (in French)