Besançon (French and Arpitan: [bəzɑ̃sɔ̃]; archaic German: Bisanz, Spanish: Besanzón), is that the capital and principal town of the Franche-Comté region in japanese France. It had a population of regarding 237,000 inhabitants within the metropolitan space in 2008. set near the border with Schweiz, it’s the capital of the department of Doubs.
Once declared initial inexperienced town of France, it’s been labelled a ‘Town of Art and History’ since 1986, and has been on the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization world heritage list since 2008.
The city is 1st recorded in fifty eight B.C. as Vesontio within the Book I of Julius Caesar’s Commentarii First State Bello Gallico. The etymology of Vesontio is unsure. the foremost common clarification is that the name is of Celtic origin, derived from wes, that means ‘mountain’. throughout the fourth century, the letter B took the place of the V, and therefore the town name modified to Besontio or Bisontion and so underwent many transformation to become Besançon in 1243.
Ancient history …
The city sits at intervals AN oxbow of the Doubs watercourse (a tributary of the Rhône River); a mountain closes the fourth facet. throughout the Bronze Age, c.1500 BCE, tribes of Gauls settled the oxbow.
From the first century BC through the trendy era, the city had a major military importance as a result of range rise suddenly to its immediate south, presenting a major natural barrier.
The Arar (Saône) watercourse fashioned a part of the border between the Haedui and their hereditary rivals, the Sequani. consistent with Strabo, the explanation for the conflict was industrial . every tribe claimed the Arar and also the tolls on trade on it. The Sequani controlled access to the Rhine ANd had engineered an oppidum (a fortified town) at Vesontio to guard their interests. The Sequani defeated and massacred the Haedui at the Battle of Magetobriga, with the assistance of the Arverni tribe and also the German Suebi tribe beneath the Germanic king Ariovistus.
In historic times the city was 1st recorded within the journals of statesman, in his commentaries particularization his conquest of Gaul, because the largest city of the Sequani, a smaller Gaulic tribe; Caesar gave the name of the city as Vesontio (possibly Latinized), and mentions that a wood palisade enclosed it.
Over the centuries, the name permutated to become Besantio, Besontion, Bisanz in Middle German and step by step got wind of the trendy French Besançon. The locals retain their ancient heritage touching on themselves as Bisontins (feminine: Bisontine).
It has been AN jurisdiction since the fourth century.
Modern Europe …
In 1814 the Austrians invaded and bombarded the town. It conjointly occupied a crucial position throughout the war of 1870–71.
The Nazis occupied the fastness throughout war II. Between 1940 and 1944, the Germans dead some 100 French resistance fighters there. However, Besançon saw very little action throughout the war. The railway complicated was bombed in 1943 and also the next year the Germans resisted the U.S. advance for four days. In 1959, the French Army turned the fastness over to the town of Besançon, that turned it into a deposit.
The forts of Brégille and Beauregard sit across the Doubs from the city. In 1913, a personal company engineered a funicular to the Brégille Heights. The funicular passed from personal possession to the SNCF, United Nations agency finally closed it in 1987. The funicular’s tracks, stations and even road signs stay in situ to the current day.
Besançon is found within the north-east quarter of France on the Doubs watercourse. it’s concerning 325 kilometre (215 mi) east of the metropolis of Paris, a hundred kilometre (60 mi) east of urban center in Burgundy, a hundred twenty five kilometre (75 mi) northwest of metropolis in European country, and a hundred kilometre (60 mi) southwest of Belfort in Franche-Comté. it’s situated at the sting of the Jura Mountains.
The city at the start developed in an exceedingly natural meander (or oxbow loop) of the Doubs watercourse with a diameter of virtually one kilometer (3,281 ft). The flat inner loop has associate elevation of regarding 250 m (820 ft) and is finite to the south by a hill known as Mont Saint-Étienne, that contains a most height of 371 m (1,217 ft). the town is enclosed by six different hills that home in elevation from four hundred m (1,312 ft) to five hundred m (1,640 ft): Brégille, Griffon, Planoise, Chaudanne, Montfaucon, and Montboucon. (There may be a barge canal that cuts through rock beneath Mont Saint-Étienne, short-cutting the meander.)
Besançon is beneath the influence of each Associate in Nursing oceanic climate (notable precipitations in amount the maximum amount as in frequency) and a continental climate with onerous winters (snow, frost) and heat and dry summers. The year-around average is eleven.5 °C (53 °F). The warmest month is July twenty °C (68 °F) and therefore the coldest is January two.1 °C (36 °F). Besançon receives concerning 1059 metric linear unit (41.7 inches) of precipitation each year. The wettest month is could (108.4 mm or 4.3 in); the driest is August (76.9 metric linear unit or three in). the very best temperature ever, recorded on twenty eight July 1921, was 40.3 °C (105 °F), and therefore the lowest was a −20.7 °C (−5 °F) reached on one January 1985.