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
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.