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) is the capital of the department of Doubs and of the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region in eastern France, close to the border with Switzerland. Once proclaimed the first green city of France, it has been labeled a "Town of Art and History" since 1986.
Each tribe claimed the Arar and the tolls on trade along it.During the 4th century, the letter B took the place of the V, and the city name changed to Besontio or Bisontion and then underwent several transformations to become Besançon in 1243.The city sits within an oxbow of the Doubs River (a tributary of the Saône River); a mountain closes the fourth side.The Imperial Chancellor Rainald of Dassel then inaugurated a German policy that insisted upon the rights and the power of the German kings, the strengthening of the Church in the German Empire, the lordship of Italy and the humiliation of the Papacy.The Archbishops were elevated to Princes of the Holy Roman Empire in 1288.In 843, the Treaty of Verdun divided up Charlemagne's empire.
Besançon became part of Lotharingie, under the Duke of Burgundy.
As part of the Holy Roman Empire since 1034, the city became an archbishopric, and was designated the Free Imperial City of Besançon (an autonomous city-state under the Holy Roman Emperor) in 1184.
In 1157, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa held the Diet of Besançon.
Julius Caesar, in his commentaries detailing his conquest of Gaul, describes Vesontio (possibly Latinized), as the largest town of the Sequani, a smaller Gaulic tribe, and mentions that a wooden palisade surrounded it.
Over the centuries, the name permutated to become Besantio, Besontion, Bisanz in Middle High German and gradually arrived at the modern French Besançon.
In the 15th century, Besançon came under the influence of the dukes of Burgundy.