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Comtois, rends-toi ! Nenni, ma foi !
Comtois, surrender! No, my faith!
|Dissolved||1 January 2016|
|• Total||16,202 km2 (6,256 sq mi)|
(1 January 2016)
|• Density||73/km2 (190/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||FR-I|
|GDP (2012)||Ranked 20th|
|Total||€28.6 billion (US$36.8 bn)|
|Per capita||€24,482 (US$31,501)|
|Website||www.franche-comte.fr (Redirects to www.bourgognefranchecomte.fr)|
Franche-Comté ( UK: // , US: /--/ ; French: [fʁɑ̃ʃ kɔ̃te] ( listen ); Frainc-Comtou: Fraintche-Comtè; Francoprovençal :Franche-Comtât; German : Freigrafschaft Burgund; Spanish : Franco Condado; all lit.'Free County') is a cultural and historical region of eastern France. It is composed of the modern departments of Doubs, Jura, Haute-Saône and the Territoire de Belfort. In 2016, its population was 1,180,397.
From 1956 to 2015, the Franche-Comté was a French administrative region. Since 1 January 2016, it has been part of the new region Bourgogne-Franche-Comté.
The region is named after the Franche Comté de Bourgogne (Free County of Burgundy), definitively separated from the region of Burgundy proper in the fifteenth century. In 2016, these two-halves of the historic Kingdom of Burgundy were reunited, as the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. It is also the 6th biggest region in France. The name "Franche-Comté" is feminine because the word "comté" in the past was generally feminine, although today it is masculine.
The principal cities are the capital Besançon, Belfort and Montbéliard (the last two form the aire urbaine Belfort-Montbéliard-Héricourt-Delle). Other important cities are Dole (the capital before the region was conquered by Louis XIV in the late seventeenth century), Vesoul (capital of Haute-Saône), Arbois (the "wine capital" of the Jura), and Lons-le-Saunier (the capital of Jura).
The region has been inhabited since the Paleolithic age and was occupied by the Gauls. Little touched by the Germanic migrations, it was part of the territory of the Alemanni in the fifth century, then the Kingdom of Burgundy from 457 to 534. It was Christianized through the influence of St. Columbanus, who founded several monasteries there. In 534, it became part of the Frankish kingdom. In 561 it was included in the Merovingian Kingdom of Burgundy under Guntram, the third son of Clotaire I. In 613, Clotaire II reunited the Frankish Kingdom under his rule, and the region remained a part of the Kingdom of Burgundy under the later Merovingians and Carolingians.
The name Franche Comté de Bourgogne or Freigrafschaft Burgund in German (Free County of Burgundy) did not appear officially until 1366. It had been a territory of the County of Burgundy from 888, the province becoming subject to the Holy Roman Empire in 1034. It was definitively separated from the neighboring Duchy of Burgundy upon the latter's incorporation into the Kingdom of France in 1477. That year at the Battle of Nancy during the Burgundian Wars, the last duke, Charles the Bold, was killed in battle. Although the county, along with the Duchy, was seized by King Louis XI of France, in 1492 his son Charles VIII ceded it to Philip of Austria, the grandson and heir of Charles the Bold. When Philip's son, Emperor Charles V, inherited the Spanish throne in 1516, the Franche-Comté, along with the rest of the Burgundian lands, passed to the Spanish.
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Franche-Comté was captured by France in 1668, but returned to Spain under the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. It was conquered a second time in 1674, and finally was ceded to France in the Treaty of Nijmegen (1678). Enclaves such as Montbéliard remained outside French control.
The Franche-Comté was one of the last parts of France to have serfdom. In 1784, half of the population consisted of serfs, accounting for 400,000 out of the 1 million French serfs. Landowners took one-twelfth of the sale's price if a serf (mainmortable) wanted to sell up. Serfs were not forced to stay on the land, but the lord could claim droit de suite, whereby a peasant who died away from his holding left it to the lord, even if he had heirs. A runaway serf's land was forfeit after ten years. Louis XVI issued a decree banning these practices on 8 August 1779, but the Parlement of Besançon blocked this until 1787.
The population of the region fell by a fifth from 1851 to 1946, reflecting low French natural growth and migration to more urbanized parts of the country. Most of the decline occurred in Haute-Saône and Jura, which remain among the country's more agriculture-dependent areas.
This region borders Switzerland and shares much of its architecture, cuisine, and culture with its neighbour. Between the Vosges range of mountains to the north and the Jura range to the south, the landscape consists of rolling cultivated fields, dense pine forest, and rampart-like mountains. Not so majestic as the Alps, the Jura mountains are more accessible and are France's first cross-country skiing area. It is also a superb place to hike, and there are some fine nature trails on the more gentle slopes. The Doubs and Loue valleys, with their timbered houses perched on stilts in the river, and the high valley of Ain, are popular visitor areas. The Région des Lacs is a land of gorges and waterfalls dotted with tiny villages, each with a domed belfry decorated with mosaic of tiles or slates or beaten from metal. The lakes are perfect for swimming in the warmer months. The summits of Haut Jura have wonderful views across Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) and toward the Alps.
Forty percent of the region's GDP is dependent on manufacturing activities, and most of its production is exported. Construction of automobiles and their parts is one of the most buoyant industries there. Forestry exploitation is steadily growing, and 38% of the agriculture is dairy and 17% cattle farming. The region has a large and lucrative cheese-making industry, with 40 million tonnes of cheese produced here each year, much of which is made by fruitières (traditional cheese dairies of Franche-Comté); for instance, Comté cheese comes from this region.
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Among the regional languages of France, the term Franc-comtois refers to two dialects of two different languages. Franc-comtois is the name of the dialect of Langue d'Oïl spoken by people in the northern part of the region. The dialect of Arpitan has been spoken in its southern part since as early as the thirteenth century (the southern two-thirds of Jura and the southern third of Doubs). Both are recognized as languages of France.
Doubs is a department in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region in Eastern France. Named after the Doubs River, it had a population of 538,549 in 2016. Its prefecture is Besançon and subprefectures are Montbéliard and Pontarlier.
Burgundy is a historical territory and a former administrative region of east-central France. It takes its name from the Burgundians, an East Germanic people who moved westwards beyond the Rhine during the late Roman period.
Besançon is the capital of the department of Doubs in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. The city is located in Eastern France, close to the Jura Mountains and the border with Switzerland.
Jura is a department in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region in Eastern France. Named after the Jura Mountains, its prefecture is Lons-le-Saunier and subprefectures are Dole and Saint-Claude. In 2016, it had a population of 260,517.
Haute-Saône is a department in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region of Northeastern France. Named after the Saône River, it had a population of 237,242 in 2016. Its prefecture is Vesoul; its sole subprefecture is Lure.
Arbois is a commune in the Jura department in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region in eastern France. The Cuisance River passes through the town, which has some pretty streets lined with ancient houses. The town centres on an arcaded central square where one can sample the local wines.
Dole is a commune in the Jura department in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region, in eastern France, of which it is a subprefecture (sous-préfecture).
The Free County of Burgundy was a medieval county of the Holy Roman Empire, predecessor to the modern region of Franche-Comté, whose name is still reminiscent of the title of its count: Freigraf. It should not be confused with the more westerly Duchy of Burgundy, a fiefdom of Francia since 843.
The Kingdom of Upper Burgundy was a Frankish dominion established in 888 by the Welf king Rudolph I of Burgundy on the territory of former Middle Francia. It grew out of the Carolingian margraviate of Transjurane Burgundy southeast of ('beyond') the Jura Mountains together with the adjacent County of Burgundy (Franche-Comté) in the northwest. The adjective 'upper' refers to its location further up the Rhône river, as distinct from Lower Burgundy and also from the Duchy of Burgundy west of the Saône river. Upper Burgundy was reunited with the Kingdom of Lower Burgundy in 933, and eventually merged into the Imperial Kingdom of Arles (Arelat).
TER Franche-Comté was the regional rail network serving the Franche-Comté région, France. In 2017 it was merged into the new TER Bourgogne-Franche-Comté.
Morteau is a commune, in the Doubs department in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region in eastern France.
Bethoncourt is a commune in the Doubs department in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region in eastern France.
Arcey is a commune in the Doubs department in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region in eastern France.
Loulans-Verchamp is a commune in the Haute-Saône department in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté in eastern France.
Grammont is a commune in the Haute-Saône department in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté in eastern France.
The Belfort Gap or Burgundian Gate is a plateau located between the northern rim of the Jura Mountains and the southernmost part of the Vosges in France. It marks the divide between the drainage basins of the Rhine River in the east and that of the Rhône in the west, part of the European Watershed between the North Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
Nicolas Perrenot de Granvelle (1486–1550) was a Franc-Comtois politician who served as a close trusted advisor to Emperor Charles V. He was made suzerain of the imperial city of Besançon and held an influential position in the Netherlands. From 1530 until his death he was one of the emperor's most trusted advisers in Germany. He was the father of the cardinal and politician Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle, also a leading Habsburg minister, and built the Palace Granvelle in Besançon.
Besançon-Viotte is the main railway station located in Besançon, Doubs, eastern France. The station was opened in 1855 and is located on the Dole–Belfort railway, Besançon–Le Locle railway and Besançon-Viotte-Vesoul railway. The train services are operated by SNCF. Besançon Franche-Comté TGV is a high speed station located 10km north of Besançon.
Bourgogne-Franche-Comté is a region in Eastern France created by the 2014 territorial reform of French regions, from a merger of Burgundy and Franche-Comté. The new region came into existence on 1 January 2016, after the regional elections of December 2015, electing 100 members to the regional council of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté.
University Burgundy Franche-Comté is the association of universities and higher education institutions (ComUE) for institutions of higher education and research in the French region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. Its headquarters are in Besançon.
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