| Share
 

Besançon

Besançon (bəzäNsôNˈ) [key], city (1990 pop. 119,134), capital of Doubs dept., E France, in Franche-Comté, on the Doubs. An industrial town with metallurgical, textile, and food-processing industries, it is especially famous for its clock and watch manufactures; its watch school is world renowned. Of Gallo-Roman origin, Besançon was an archiepiscopal see from the 5th cent. Although part of the kingdom of Burgundy, it was made (by Emperor Frederick I) a free city, with special privileges for its archbishops. It maintained its independence, with interruptions, until 1648, when it passed under Spanish rule through its incorporation with Franche-Comté. After Louis XIV's second conquest of Franche-Comté (1674), Besançon became (1676) the capital of his new province. Although bombed during World War II, many old monuments remain: Roman ruins, a cathedral (12th–16th cent.), and numerous buildings in Spanish Renaissance style, notably the Palais Granvelle (birthplace of Cardinal Granvelle, now housing a museum) and the imposing town hall. An intellectual center, Besançon is the seat of a university (founded 1422 in Dôle and moved to Besançon in 1691), a music academy (founded 1726), and an international music festival.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: French Political Geography


Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring