Petite-Rosselle (German: Kleinrosseln; Palatine German: Klänrossle) is a commune in the Moselle department of the Grand Est region in north-eastern France. The commune is separated from neighbouring Großrosseln by the river Saar, which forms the border between France and Germany. It has 6,785 inhabitants.

Musée du carreau Wendel, a coal mining museum in Petite-Rosselle

Coat of arms
Location of Petite-Rosselle
Coordinates: 49°12′44″N 6°51′30″E
RegionGrand Est
IntercommunalityCommunauté d'agglomération de Forbach Porte de France
  Mayor (20082014) Gérard Mittelberger
5.05 km2 (1.95 sq mi)
  Density1,300/km2 (3,300/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
57537 /57540
Elevation190–313 m (623–1,027 ft)
(avg. 310 m or 1,020 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.


From the year's 843 signing of the Treaty of Verdun, the location of the present commune fell within the territory of Middle Francia. Between 925–1542, it was part of the Duchy of Lorraine, within the Holy Roman Empire. From 1542-1766 it was in the independent Duchy of Lorraine. Between 1766-1871 it was incorporated into France.

Periodic wars between France and Germany led to the establishment of the frontier along the river Moselle. Between 1871–1918 the Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine, including Petite-Rosselle, was annexed by the German Empire.

Following the Treaty of Versailles, Petite-Rosselle returned to French control and remained so until Nazi Germany again annexed the Moselle on 25 July 1940, incorporating it as CdZ-Gebiet Lothringen into the Gau Westmark.

Petite-Roselle shares most of its history with Großrosseln (French: Grande-Rosselle). The united commune of Rosselle was founded in 1290, and the lesser and greater parts of the commune on either side of the river were legally separated in 1326. The river Rosselle marks the border between France and Germany.


Coal was discovered in the vicinity of the town in 1856 by the de Wendel family. Mining became the principal economic activity in the commune. Today all mining operations have closed, though several mines have been conserved for historical purposes as part of the Carreau Wendel Museum.

Twin towns

See also

Media related to Petite-Rosselle at Wikimedia Commons

  1. "Populations légales 2016". INSEE. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
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