Bar-le-Duc (bär-lə-dükˈ) [key], town (1990 pop. 18,577), capital of Meuse dept., NE France, in Lorraine. It has textile mills, iron foundries, printing plants, and metallurgical and food-processing industries. Situated in the picturesque Ornain valley, Bar-le-Duc has preserved many old houses (16th, 17th, and 18th cent.). It has a 15th-century church and one from the 13th and 14th cent. It was the capital of the county (later duchy) of Bar, an irregularly shaped area stretching from the Marne to the Luxembourg frontier. The duchy passed (15th cent.) to René of Anjou, later also duke of Lorraine. Bar thereafter shared the history of Lorraine, with which it passed to France in 1766.