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Franche-Comte Province of France

Facts on Franche-Comte

Land area: 16,202 km²
Population: estimated at 1,146,000
Area: 71/km² (2006)
Capital City: Besancon

Franche-Comté (the former "Free County" of Burgundy) is an administrative region and a traditional province of eastern France.


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- Facts Franche-Comte
- Wines from France
- Expensive Wines

Facts on Franche-Comte Province of France

Within this region you will find four departments: the Haute-Saone, Jura, Doubs, and Territoire de Belfort.

The principal cities are Besançon, often known as the greenest city in France and is the historical and modern capital of the region, Belfort, and Montbéliard.

Besancon is located close to the border with Switzerland and it is the capital of the Doubs departement.

Other important cities are Dole, which was the capital before the region was conquered by Louis XIV in the late 17th century, Vesoul, which is the capital of the Haute-Saône, Lons-le-Saunier, which is the capital of Jura and Arbois, which is the "wine capital" of the Jura.

Franc-Comtis is the regional language and is a dialect of Langue d'Oïl that is spoken by a minority of people.

Both this regional language and another known as Franco-Provencal are recognised as Languages of France.

As early as the 13th century, people residing in the southern parts of Jura and Doubs spoke a dialect of the Franco-Provençal language, which continued to be spoken in rural areas well into the 20th century.

This area was separated from Burgundy and the name Franche-Comté did not officially appear until 1366.  Originally it had been a territory of Burgundy from 888, but then became part of the Holy Roman Empire in 1034.

This region and in particular Besancon is under the influence of both an oceanic climate and a continental climate.  It can have harsh winters with snow and frost, yet warm and dry summers.

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