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Chateau Montbeliard 3.jpg
Blason ville fr Montbeliard.svg
Location of Montbéliard
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Bourgogne-Franche-Comte region location map.svg
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Coordinates: 47°31′N6°48′E / 47.51°N 6.80°E / 47.51; 6.80 Coordinates: 47°31′N6°48′E / 47.51°N 6.80°E / 47.51; 6.80
Country France
Region Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
Department Doubs
Arrondissement Montbéliard
Canton Montbéliard
Intercommunality Pays de Montbéliard Agglomération
  Mayor (20202026) Marie-Noelle Biguinet
15.01 km2 (5.80 sq mi)
 (Jan. 2018) [1]
  Density1,700/km2 (4,500/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
25388 /25200
Elevation311–454 m (1,020–1,490 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Montbéliard [2] (French pronunciation:  [mɔ̃beljaʁ] ; traditional German : Mömpelgard) is a city in the Doubs department in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region in eastern France, about 13 km (8 mi) from the border with Switzerland. It is one of the two subprefectures of the department.



Montbéliard is mentioned as early as 983 as Mons Beliardae. The County of Montbéliard or Mömpelgard was a feudal county of the Holy Roman Empire from 1033 to 1796. In 1283, it was granted rights under charter by Count Reginald. Its charter guaranteed the county perpetual liberties and franchises which lasted until the French Revolution in 1789.

Montbéliard's original municipal institutions included the Magistracy of the Nine Bourgeois, the Corp of the Eighteen and the Notables, a Mayor, and Procurator, and appointed "Chazes", all who participated in the administration of the county as provided by the charter. Also under the 1283 charter, the Count and the people of Montbéliard were required by law to defend Montbéliard, while citizens of Montbéliard were not required to fight in any wars outside of the county. Altogether, the charter lent to Montbéliard a democratic air remarkable for its time.

In 1397 the county passed by marriage of Henriette, heiress of the county to Eberhard IV, Count of Württemberg, to the House of Württemberg .

In 1520, Duke Ulrich of Württemberg was ousted from the duchy by the Swabian League, and retreated to Montbéliard, the only territory he still possessed. From there on, Ulrich used Montbéliard as a base of operations to raise troops to retake Württemberg, but, in dire need of funds, he decided to lease Montbéliard to his half-brother George. In 1534, still in need of funds, Ulrich simply sold Montbéliard to Francis I of France, though with right to repurchase, which Ulrich exercised after his restoration to Württemberg in 1536. Still governing Montbéliard as its count, George attempted to strengthen Lutheranism in the county, eventually succeeding in suppressing the other confessions fully.[ citation needed ]

From 1598 to 1608, the architect Heinrich Schickhardt built several landmarks of the city, including St. Martin, a castle, a bridge, a college and several hotels.

After the French Revolution, Montbéliard was briefly incorporated into the Rauracian Republic [3] .[ citation needed ] In 1793 the town was annexed to France, which was confirmed in 1796 and by the German Mediatisation of 1806, when Württemberg was compensated with other areas, and became a kingdom.

As a consequence of the former rule under the dukes of Württemberg, it has been for centuries one of the few Protestant enclaves in France. The Württemberg coat of arms from 1495 represents Montbéliard as two jumping fishes on a red field.

For details of the local events of the Second World War, see Sochaux.


As of 2017, Montbéliard proper has nearly 26,000 inhabitants, but it is at the center of a larger urban area (aire d'attraction d'une ville) with a population of 180,000. [4] This urban area covers 137 communes, of which several in the adjacent departments of Haute-Saône (notably Héricourt) and Territoire de Belfort. [5]

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1793 3,428    
1800 3,693+1.07%
1806 3,592−0.46%
1821 4,485+1.49%
1831 4,767+0.61%
1836 5,133+1.49%
1841 5,789+2.43%
1846 5,829+0.14%
1851 6,144+1.06%
1856 5,852−0.97%
1861 6,353+1.66%
1866 6,484+0.41%
1872 6,509+0.06%
1876 8,938+8.25%
1881 8,784−0.35%
1886 9,531+1.65%
1891 9,561+0.06%
1896 9,799+0.49%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1901 10,034+0.48%
1906 10,455+0.83%
1911 10,392−0.12%
1921 10,063−0.32%
1926 10,292+0.45%
1931 12,767+4.40%
1936 14,217+2.17%
1946 14,301+0.06%
1954 17,023+2.20%
1962 21,699+3.08%
1968 23,908+1.63%
1975 30,425+3.50%
1982 31,836+0.65%
1990 29,005−1.16%
1999 27,570−0.56%
2007 26,392−0.54%
2012 26,084−0.23%
2017 25,395−0.53%
Source: EHESS [6] and INSEE (1968-2017) [7]


List of mayors
PeriodNamePolitical party
1947–1957Lucien Tharradin RPF
1959–1965Jean-Pierre Tuefferd PS
1965–1978André Boulloche PS
1978–1989André Lang PS
1989–2008Louis Souvet UMP
2008–2014Jacques Hélias PS
2014–?Marie-Noelle Biguinet UMP
The previous data are unknown.


View of Montbeliard - Mumpelgart, c. 1600. Montbeliard.jpg
View of Montbéliard – Mümpelgart, c. 1600.
Wurttemberg coat of arms 1495, showing Montbeliard's fishes. Wurttemberg 1495.gif
Württemberg coat of arms 1495, showing Montbéliard's fishes.

Montbéliard and the surrounding region constitute an important manufacturing center mainly based upon metallurgy and car industry.

The main manufacturing plant of the Peugeot automobile company is partly located in Montbéliard and has around 20,000 employees. In the area, the automotive industry accounts for 34,000 employees in more than 100 companies. The Peugeot company's museum is located in the adjacent commune of Sochaux.

Montbéliard is the center of the 'Pays de Montbéliard', a metropolitan area of 132,000 inhabitants.

Main sights

As the residence of the Counts of Montbéliard, the history of the castle is closely linked with the story of the families that reigned over the county for more than eight centuries. Built on a rocky promontory at the confluence of the Lizaine and Allan valleys, this stronghold, which already existed in the 10th century, was constantly transformed during the course of the centuries. Today, on the northern side of the edifice, one can admire the Henriette Tower (reconstructed by Countess Henriette in approximately 1424), the Frédéric Tower (1572 and 1595) and the main building dating back to the 18th century. The castle has become the Museum of the Castle of the Dukes of Württemberg, which includes a historical tour, an important archaeological department whose collections come mainly from excavations of local Gallo-Roman sites, the Cuvier natural history gallery and exhibits of paintings and sculptures of international renown. On the esplanade of the Castle, the Clock pavilion or Hôtel du Bailli (Bailli's quarters, also known as the gentlemen's quarters), built according to plans of the architect Schickhardt at the beginning of the 17th century, houses today the Academy of Music.

The Beurnier-Rossel mansion, located opposite St. Martin's church, near the Town Hall, stands as a witness to the life-style of the urban bourgeoisie during the 18h and 19th centuries. Today it houses the Museum of Art and History. The restored 18th century reception rooms on the first floor contain furniture, paintings, chandeliers and draperies which recreate the ambiance of a private residence. On the second floor, there is an exhibit of objects relating to the history of the town and local life (bibles, liturgical vessels, traditional headdresses etc.) and the collection of music boxes made by L'Épée is exhibited in the attic.

Saint Martin Protestant Church was built between 1601 and 1607 and is the work of Heinrich Schickhardt, the architect of Frederic 1st Prince of Montbéliard, in its purest form. It is also the oldest church in France dedicated to the Reformation form of worship.

Built between 1850 and 1875 on the Cardinal Mathieu's request to assert the Catholic reconquest over Lutheranism, Saint Maimboeuf Church dominates the town. It includes rich façade adornments and a polychrome altarpiece.


Due to its interior position within France, Montbéliard features an oceanic climate (Cfb), bordering on a warm-summer humid continental climate (Dfb), under the Köppen system. This leads to cold, snowy winters and warm to hot, humid summers.

Climate data for Montbéliard, elevation: 318 m (1,043 ft)
Record high °C (°F)18.4
Average high °C (°F)5.3
Daily mean °C (°F)2.2
Average low °C (°F)−0.8
Record low °C (°F)−13.5
Average precipitation mm (inches)66.5


Stade Auguste Bonal Stade Sochaux Bonale 3.jpg
Stade Auguste Bonal

Montbeliard's most popular sports club is FCSM (Football Club Sochaux-Montbéliard). Founded in 1928, FC Sochaux-Montbéliard was a founder member of the French professional Football League. The club has played a record 62 seasons in Ligue 1, the most of any club in the French football league system. This consistency contributed to the fact that FCSM, though a small club, has won all the possible national trophies.

FC Sochaux-Montbéliard honours:


Montbéliard is the birthplace of:

International relations

Montbéliard is twinned with:

See also

Related Research Articles

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  1. "Populations légales 2018". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 28 December 2020.
  2. Also Montbelliard
  4. Comparateur de territoire: Aire d'attraction des villes 2020 de Montbéliard (061), INSEE
  5. Aire d'attraction des villes 2020 de Montbéliard (061), INSEE
  6. Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Commune data sheet Montbéliard, EHESS. (in French)
  7. Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE