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Belfort sits on the Savoureuse River, in north-eastern France, in an area known as the Belfort Gap, which connects the basins of the Rhine and Rhône Rivers. Tucked between the Jura Mountains to the south and the Vosges Mountains to the north, this city of 50,000 residents is the administrative centre of the Territoire de Belfort, a department in the Franche-Comté region. Belfort’s history dates back several centuries.
Belfort was already settled by the time of the Roman Empire and passed through Austrian hands before becoming French in 1648, following the Thirty Years' War. During the Franco-Prussian War, the city was seiged for more than 100 days, and though surrounding areas in the Alsace region were annexed by Prussia, Belfort was ceded to the French, because of its Francophone population. The city’s resistance to the seige is commemorated with the Lion of Belfort, an 11 meter-tall stone statue located near the Kyriad Belfort hotel.