town in east central France.
It is the capital of the departement of Territoire de Belfort.
It is located on the Savoureuse River, southwest of Mulhouse.
It is best known as a wine-trading center specializing in Alsatian wines and brandies.
It is also a trading center for cereals.
Its industries produce textiles, electrical equipment, metallurgy and chemicals.
The area where Belfort is located was Inhabited in Gallo-Roman times.
Belfort itself was first chartered in 1307 as a possession of the counts of Montbéliard.
It later became a possession of the archdukes of Austria.
In 1648, the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ceded it to
Louis XIV. In turn, Louis gave it to Cardinal Mazarin.
The town controlled the strategic Trouée de Belfort pass, between the
Vosges and the Jura.
Consequently, the town was often besieged.
In World War I it was successfully defended by the French, but it was occupied by the Germans in World War II.
Belfort’s fortified old quarter, on the east bank of the Savoureuse, contains its castle and public buildings.
In front of its 18th century hôtel de ville
the French sculptor
Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi's majestic 1880 statue, the
"Lion of Belfort", that commemorates the town’s long siege during the
Franco-Prussian War of 1870 to 1871.
Besançon, located on the Doubs River in eastern France, is the capital of Doubs Department.
Prior to 58 BC, when it was taken by
It was the chief town of the Sequani Gauls.
It then became
a Roman military outpost. It was made an archiepiscopal see in the 2nd century
AD and, in 1184,
the Holy Roman emperor Frederick Barbarossa made it a free imperial city.
During the 14th century the dukes of Burgundy took the city.
Subsequently, it passed to the Habsburg emperor Maximilian I through his marriage to Mary of Burgundy.
During the period of Austro-Spanish domination, from 1477 to 1674, Besançon became prosperous and superseded
Dole as the virtual capital of the region of
In 1674, it was finally ceded, along with
Louis XIV of France.
In 1676, the regional parliament and the mint were transferred from Dole and Besançon formally became the capital of the province of
Franche-Comté. Besançon is the seat of the
University of Franche-Comté which moved here, from Dôle, in 1691.
The town’s points of interest include the Roman ruins of a triumphal arch, called Porte Noire, an amphitheatre and an aqueduct.
One of its modern bridges, spanning the Doubs, incorporates part of a Roman bridge.
The Cathedral of Saint Jean, which was founded in the 4th century, has been rebuilt several times, especially over the course of the 12th through 16th century.
There are also several buildings in the Spanish Renaissance style.
Besançon is noted as the birthplace of the writer Victor Hugo.
Besançon is a farm-trade, cultural, and manufacturing center.
Since the 18th century the town has been especially noted for its production of timepieces, an activity introduced here by Swiss refugee.
Other manufacturing includes processed food, leather works and textiles.
Dole, which is
DÔLE, is a
town located in the département of Jura.
The town is located southeast of
Dijon on the Doubs River and the Rhine-Rhône Canal.
Under the Romans, the town was called Dolla. In medieval times it was the seat of the dukes of Burgundy.
Until 1691, Dole was the site of the University of Franche-Comté, and between 1332 and 1674 it was the capital of
Franche-Comté. From 1493 to 1678, until the Peace of Nijmegen made it French, it belonged to the house of Habsburg.
In that same year its university, which dates from 1423, and its parliament were moved to
Louis Pasteur was born in Dole in 1822.
His birthplace is preserved as a monument.
The hospital, named in his honor, is housed in a 17th century building.
The Gothic-style Church of Notre Dame was constructed in the Gothic-style in the 16th century.
Dole manufactures metal and sanitary porcelain and has a commerce in grain, wine, and cheese.
Salt deposits near Poligny supply the large chemical plant at Tavaux, near Dôle.
Lons-le-Saunier is the capital of the département of Jura is surrounded by vine-clad hills.
It is located south-southeast of
Dijon on the
Vallière River that runs through the valley of Solvan.
has been known, since Roman times, for its thermal springs.
It is also known for
Bartholdi’s statue of Rouget de Lisle, the composer of “La Marseillaise”, the French national anthem. There is a collection of his compositions in the town’s Hotel de Ville.
Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi is the designer of the Statue of Liberty.
Lons-le-Saunier manufactures optical instruments, cheese, and sparkling wines.
Montbéliard is located
Vosges and the Jura mountains, 11 miles from the Swiss border in the département of Doubs,
It is situated north of the Doubs River and the
Canal du Rhône au Rhin.
Montbéliard is known to have been in existence in the 8th century.
The lordship of Montbéliard became a countship in the 12th century. The château of the counts of Montbéliard, on a rocky promontory dominating the town, has towers dating from the 15th and 16th centuries; it houses a museum of natural history and (in an 18th century extension) an art museum.
Subsequently, Montbéliard became a possession of the dukes of Württemberg.
They administered it from the end of the 14th century until the French Revolution.
Peugeot currently manufactures automobiles at Montbéliard, employing more than two-thirds of the economically active.
The town of Vesoul, which is located between a conical hill, known as La Mote, and the Durgeon River, is the capital of the département of Haute-Saône.
Perched upon the summit of the hill is
a votive chapel and a statue of the Virgin Mary.
Although its records go back only to the 9th century, Vesoul is of ancient origin.
During the late 16th century Wars of Religion, and the Thirty Years' War of the 17th century, the town was greatly damaged. In 1678, as a result of the Treaty of Nijmegen, Vesou was incorporated into France.
The town is located in the center of an agricultural region, and is an important market for farm produce and cattle.
The chief industry is metallurgy.