Besançon

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Besançon
The old city of Besançon in the oxbow of the Doubs River.
The old city of Besançon
in the oxbow of the Doubs River.
Flag of Besançon
Flag
Coat of arms of Besançon
Coat of arms
Motto: Plût A Dieu ("If God wills") or Utinam
Besançon is located in France
Besançon
Besançon
Coordinates: 47°14′35″N 6°01′19″E / 47.2431°N 6.0219°E / 47.2431; 6.0219Coordinates: 47°14′35″N 6°01′19″E / 47.2431°N 6.0219°E / 47.2431; 6.0219
Country France
Region Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
Department Doubs
Intercommunality Grand Besançon
Government
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Jean-Louis Fousseret (PS)
Area1 65.05 km2 (25.12 sq mi)
 • Urban (1999) 122 km2 (47 sq mi)
 • Metro (1999) 1,652 km2 (638 sq mi)
Population (2008)2 117,599
 • Rank 29th in France
 • Density 1,807.82/km2 (4,682.2/sq mi)
 • Urban (1999) 134,376
 • Urban density 1,101/km2 (2,853/sq mi)
 • Metro (1999) 222,381
 • Metro density 134.61/km2 (348.65/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
INSEE/Postal code 25056 /
Website http://www.besancon.fr/

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Besançon is a city in France. It was the capital of the former Free County (Franche-Comté) region. It is the prefecture of the Doubs department. Its population is around 117,600 (2008).

History[change | change source]

Besançon is an old city. It is discovered in 58 BC and Julius Caesar writes about it in his book Commentarii de Bello Gallico where it is called Vesontio. The etymology (origin of the word) is not certain. It could have a Celtic origin. The Celtic word wes means mountain. In the 4th century, the letter B became V. The city name changed to Besontio or Bisontion. It became Besançon in 1243.

The city has a Renaissance citadel. It was later used by the Nazis during World War II.

The Doubs (river), the Tour de la Pelote and the Quai Vauban.
The citadelle in Besançon

Climate[change | change source]

Besançon has an oceanic climate and a continental climate. The average temperature is 10.2 °C (50 °F). The warmest month of the year is July (18.9 °C or 66 °F) and the coldest month is January (1.6 °C or 35 °F). Besançon receives about 1108 mm (44 inches) of precipitation per year. The wettest month is May (111.4 mm or 4.4 in); the driest is July (80.5 mm or 3.2 in). The highest temperature ever, recorded on 31 July 1983, was 38.8 °C (101.8 °F), and the lowest was a −20.7 °C (−5.3 °F) reached on 1 January 1985.

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Avg temperature °C (°F) 1.6 (35) 3.3 (38) 6.1 (43) 9.4 (49) 13.3 (56) 16.5 (62) 18.9 (66) 18.3 (65) 15.7 (60) 11.3 (52) 5.6 (42) 2.1 (36) 10.2 (50)
Avg rainfall mm (in) 91.1 (3.6) 81.8 (3.2) 83.5 (3.3) 91.6 (3.6) 111.4 (4.4) 100.1 (3.9) 80.5 (3.2) 86.9 (3.4) 93.2 (3.7) 85.8 (3.4) 103.7 (4.1) 99.0 (3.9) 1108 (43.6)
Source: Météo France

Monuments[change | change source]

Sister cities[change | change source]

Besançon is twinned with: