Besancon (classic Vesontio), the capital of the department of Doubs, France, on the river Doubs, 45 miles E. of Dijon, is a town of the highest antiquity, and was in Caesar's time the chief place of the Sequani. Under the emperors it rose to great prosperity, and its streets still bear Roman names, whilst the remains of a triumphal arch, an amphitheatre, and many other buildings still exist. From the 12th to the 16th centuries it belonged to Germany. By the treaty of Westphalia it was assigned to Spain. Louis XIV. took it twice, and it finally became French in 1678 after the peace of Nimeguen. Since then it has been besieged more than once. The citadel stands 400 feet above the river, and the fortifications are strong. There are an arsenal, barracks, royal college, archbishop's palace, library, academy of painting, besides the usual institutions of a provincial capital. The cathedral is Gothic, and the palace of Granvella, Charles V.'s minister, is an interesting monument. Watches, porcelain, and carpets are the chief manufactures, and a brisk trade goes on with Switzerland.