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Nestling in the meander of the river, protected by the rock, the city prospered. A proud Gallic city which became Gallo-Roman with the arrival of Julius Caesar, a free imperial city under emperor Charles the Fifth, Besançon became unassailable when, after being conquered by Louis XIV, Vauban dotted sturdy defensive bastions along the heights of the new capital of the Franche-Comté region. There are reminders of the city’s history around every street corner. There are Gallo-Roman remains, Renaissance palaces, townhouses with mock-classical façades and as chance would have it, Besançon is also the birthplace of many artists and writers.