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Cradled in a loop of the river Doubs, at the foot of its towering citadel, the ancient city of Besançon is one of the best preserved historic cities in France.
In pre-Roman times, it was the capital of an area known as Sequania. When the area was conquered by the Romans, Julius Caesar described this naturally defensive site as "the jewel in my crown". Today Besançon is the capital of the region of Franche Comté, a thriving university town, and one of the more popular places to visit in eastern France. The centre of Besançon, known as "la Boucle", i.e. the loop of the river, is both a very well preserved historic quarter, with no high-rise blocks or inappropriate modern developments, but also remains the commercial and business hub of the city, with plenty of shops and restaurants.