Besançon is a French city, in the département of Doubs, of which it is the préfecture. Population (1999): 122,308.

Its Latin name was Vesontio.

The city's fortifications were upgraded by Vauban.

The city is famous for its microtechnology and watch industries.

Famous people born in Besançon include:

  • Victor Hugo (1802-1885) - Writer and poet
  • Tristan Bernard (1866-1947) - Journalist and Humorist
  • Hilaire de Chardonnet (1838-1924) - Inventor of artificial silk
  • Charles Fourier (1772-1837) - Inventor of socialist "phalansteries" (vast communal buildings surrounded by a highly cultivated agricultural area)
  • Claude Goudimel (1510-1572) - Musician, Teacher of Palestrina. Composer of the music for Protestant hymns
  • Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle (1517-1586) - Cardinal, statesman and humanist. Counsellor of Charles V, Viceroy of Naples
  • Auguste and Louis Lumiere, (1862-1954) and (1864-1948) - Inventors of cinematography
  • Charles Nodier (1780-1844) - Writer. Leader of the Romantic movement
  • Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865)- Journalist (Le Peuple) and author of world-renowned socialist theories
  • Jean Claude Eugene Peclet, physicist, gave his name to the Péclet number
  • Louis-Jean Résal (1854-1920) - Engineer who built the Pont Mirabeau and the Pont Alexandre III in Paris