Besançon is the capital of the department of Doubs in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. The city is located in the border with Switzerland. Capital of the historic and cultural region of Franche-Comté, Besançon is home to the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté regional council headquarters, is an important administrative centre in the region, it is the seat of one of the fifteen French ecclesiastical provinces and one of the two divisions of the French Army. In 2016 the city had a population of 116,466, in a metropolitan area of 251,293, the second in the region in terms of population. Established in a meander of the Doubs river, the city was important during the Gallo-Roman era under the name of Vesontio, capital of the Sequani, its geography and specific history turned it into a military stronghold, a garrison city, a political center, a religious capital. Besançon is the historical capital of watchmaking in France; this has led it to become a center for innovative companies in the fields of microtechnology and biomedical engineering.
The University of Franche-Comté, founded in 1423, every year enrolls more than 20,000 students. The greenest city in France, it enjoys a quality of life recognized in Europe. Thanks to its rich historical and cultural heritage and its unique architecture, Besançon has been labeled a "Town of Art and History" since 1986 and its fortifications due to Vauban has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2008; the city is first recorded in 58 BC as Vesontio in the Book I of Julius Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico. The etymology of Vesontio is uncertain; the most common explanation is that the name is of Celtic origin, derived from wes, meaning'mountain'. During the 4th century, the letter B took the place of the V, the city name changed to Besontio or Bisontion and underwent several transformations to become Besançon in 1243; the city sits within an oxbow of the Doubs River. During the Bronze Age, c.1500 BCE, tribes of Gauls settled the oxbow. From the 1st century BC through the modern era, the town had a significant military importance because the Alps rise abruptly to its immediate south, presenting a significant natural barrier.
The Arar River formed part of the border between the Haedui and their hereditary rivals, the Sequani. According to Strabo, the cause of the conflict was commercial; each tribe claimed the tolls on trade along it. The Sequani controlled access to the Rhine River and had built an oppidum at Vesontio to protect their interests; the Sequani defeated and massacred the Haedui at the Battle of Magetobriga, with the help of the Arverni tribe and the Germanic Suebi tribe under the Germanic king Ariovistus. Julius Caesar, in his commentaries detailing his conquest of Gaul, describes Vesontio, as the largest town of the Sequani, a smaller Gaulic tribe, mentions that a wooden palisade surrounded it. Over the centuries, the name permutated to become Besantio, Bisanz in Middle High German, arrived at the modern French Besançon; the locals retain their ancient heritage referring to themselves as Bisontins. It has been an archbishopric since the 4th century. In 843, the Treaty of Verdun divided up Charlemagne's empire.
Besançon became part of Lotharingia, under the Duke of Burgundy. As part of the Holy Roman Empire since 1034, the city became an archbishopric, was designated the Free Imperial City of Besançon in 1184. In 1157, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa held the Diet of Besançon. There, Cardinal Orlando Bandinelli asserted before the Emperor that the imperial dignity was a papal beneficium, which incurred the wrath of the German princes, he would have fallen on the spot under the battle-axe of his lifelong foe, Otto of Wittelsbach, had Frederick not intervened. The Imperial Chancellor Rainald of Dassel inaugurated a German policy that insisted upon the rights and the power of the German kings, the strengthening of the Church in the German Empire, the lordship of Italy and the humiliation of the Papacy; the Archbishops were elevated to Princes of the Holy Roman Empire in 1288. The close connection to the Empire is reflected in the city's coat of arms. In 1290, after a century of fighting against the power of the archbishops, the Emperor granted Besançon its independence.
In the 15th century, Besançon came under the influence of the dukes of Burgundy. After the marriage of Mary of Burgundy to Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, the city was in effect a Habsburg fief. In 1519 Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Spain, became the Holy Roman Emperor; this made him a francophone imperial city. In 1526 the city obtained the right to mint coins, which it continued to strike until 1673. All coins bore the name of Charles V; when Charles V abdicated in 1555, he gave the Franche-Comté to Philip II, King of Spain. Besançon remained a free imperial city under the protection of the King of Spain. In 1598, Philip II gave the province to his daughter on her marriage to an Austrian archduke, it remained formally a portion of the Empire until its cession at the peace of Westphalia in 1648. Spain regained control of Franche-Comté and the city lost its status as a free city. In 1667, Louis XIV claimed the pr
Girona is a city in Catalonia, Spain, at the confluence of the rivers Ter, Galligants, Güell and has an official population of 100,266 in 2018. It is the capital of of the comarca of the Gironès, it is located 99 km northeast of Barcelona. Girona is one of the major Catalan cities; the first historical inhabitants in the region were Iberians. The Romans built a citadel there, given the name of Gerunda; the Visigoths ruled in Girona until it was conquered by the Moors in 715. Charlemagne reconquered it in 785 and made it one of the fourteen original counties of Catalonia, it was wrested temporarily from the Moors, who recaptured it in 793. From this time until the Moors were driven out, 1015, the city changed hands and was sacked several times by the Moors. Wilfred the Hairy incorporated Girona into the County of Barcelona in 878. Alfonso I of Aragon declared Girona a city in the 11th century; the ancient county became a duchy when King Peter III of Aragon gave the title of Duke to his first-born son, John.
In 1414, King Ferdinand I in turn gave the title of prince of Girona to his first-born son, Alfonso. The title is carried by Princess Leonor of Asturias, the second since the 16th century to do so; the 12th century saw the Jewish community of Girona flourish, having one of the most important Kabbalistic schools in Europe. The Rabbi of Girona, Moshe ben Nahman Gerondi was appointed Great Rabbi of Catalonia; the presence of the Jewish community of Girona came to an end in 1492, when the Catholic Monarchs outlawed Judaism throughout Spain and Jews were given the choice of conversion or exile. Today, the Jewish quarter or Call is one of the best preserved in Europe and is a major tourist attraction. On the north side of the old city is the Montjuïc, where an important religious cemetery was located. Girona has been captured seven times, it was besieged by the French royal armies under Charles de Monchy d'Hocquincourt in 1653, under Bernardin Gigault de Bellefonds in 1684, twice in 1694 under Anne Jules de Noailles.
In May 1809, it was besieged by 35,000 French Napoleonic troops under Vergier, Augereau and St. Cyr, held out obstinately under the leadership of Alvarez until disease and famine compelled it to capitulate on 12 December; the French conquered the city in 1809, after 7 months of siege. Girona was center of the Ter department during the French rule, which lasted from 1809 to 1813; the defensive city walls of the western side were demolished at the end of the 19th century to allow for the expansion of the city, while the walls of the eastern side remained untouched but abandoned. In recent years, the missing parts of the city walls on the eastern side of the city have been reconstructed. Called the Passeig de la Muralla it now forms a tourist route around the old city. In the Köppen climate classification, Girona has a humid subtropical climate, with cool winters and hot summers. In winter, temperatures can drop to below −2 °C. In summer, maximum temperatures are 27–34 °C. Although rainfall is evenly spread throughout the year, it is more common in autumn.
The driest month is July. Thunderstorms are common in the summer. Notice that the following climate chart is based on Girona airport, further inland and affected by the thermal inversion. Girona is a popular destination for tourists and Barcelona day-trippers - the train journey from Barcelona Sants to Girona takes forty minutes on express trains; the old town stands on the steep hill of the Capuchins to the east of the river Onyar, while the more modern section stands on the plains to the west. The ancient cathedral, which stood on the site of the present one, was used by the Moors as a mosque, after their final expulsion was either remodelled or rebuilt; the present edifice is one of the most important monuments of the school of the Majorcan architect Jaume Fabre and an excellent example of Catalan Gothic architecture. It is approached by eighty-six steps. An aisle and chapels surround the choir, which opens by three arches into the nave, of which the pointed stone vault is the widest in Christendom.
Among its interior decorations is a retable, the work of the Valencian silversmith Pere Bernec. It is divided into three tiers of statuettes and reliefs, framed in canopied niches of cast and hammered silver. A gold and silver altar-frontal was carried off by the French in 1809; the cathedral contains the tombs of his wife. The old fortifications are another popular sight; these have played a vital role in protecting Girona from invaders for hundreds of years. The city wall of the old town was an important military construction built in Roman times in the 1st century BC, it was rebuilt under the reign of Peter III the Ceremonious in the second half of the 14th century. The Roman wall was used as a foundation. At the start of the 16th century, the wall was absorbed in the city; the walled precinct lost its military value. Bit by bit, the wall was degrading, as parts were altered from the inside and the outside; the walls and lookout towers that make up these fortifications are split in two - a small section in the north of the old town and a much larger section to the east and south.
It is possible to walk the walls and climb the towers, where visitors can enjoy panoramic views of Girona and the surrounding countryside. The Collegiate Church of
Póvoa de Varzim
Póvoa de Varzim spelled Povoa de Varzim, is a Portuguese city in Northern Portugal and sub-region of Greater Porto. It sits in a cuspate foreland, halfway between the Minho and Douro rivers. In 2001, there were 63,470 inhabitants, with 42,396 living in the city proper; the city expanded, southwards, to Vila do Conde, there are about 100,000 inhabitants in the urban area alone. It is the seventh-largest urban agglomeration in Portugal and the third largest in Northern Portugal. Permanent settlement in Póvoa de Varzim dates back to around four to six thousand years ago. Modern Póvoa de Varzim emerged after the conquest by the Roman Republic of the city by 138 BC. By the 11th century, the fishing industry and fertile farmlands were the economic base of a feudal lordship and Varzim was fiercely disputed between the local overlords and the early Portuguese kings, which resulted in the establishment of the present day's municipality in 1308 and being subjugated to monastic power some years later. Póvoa de Varzim's importance reemerged with the Age of Discovery due to its shipbuilders and merchants proficiency and wealth, who traded around the globe in complex trade routes.
By the 17th century, the fish processing industry rebounded and, some time Póvoa became the dominant fishing port in northern Portugal. Póvoa de Varzim has been a well-known beach resort for over three centuries, the most popular in Northern Portugal, which unfolded an influential literary culture and historical artistic patronage in music and theater. Casino da Póvoa is one of the prominent gambling venues in Portugal. Leisure and health benefits provided in large sandy beaches attracts national and international visitors. Póvoa de Varzim holds other landmarks the traditional Junqueira shopping street, Garrett Theatre, the Ethnography and History Museum, Cividade de Terroso, the Medieval Rates Monastery, Baroque Matriz Church, city Hall and Portuguese vernacular architecture in Praça do Almada, numerous Portuguese cuisine restaurants that make Póvoa de Varzim popular in all Northern Portugal, which started to attract an international following. Farol da Lapa, Farol de Regufe, the main breakwater of the Port of Póvoa de Varzim, Carvalhido and São Félix Hill are preferred for sightseeing.
The city has significant food industries. The town has retained a distinct cultural identity and ancient Norse customs such as the writing system of siglas poveiras, the masseira farming technique and festivals. Discoveries of Acheulean stone tools suggest Póvoa de Varzim has been inhabited since the Lower Palaeolithic, around 200,000 BC; the first groups of shepherds settled on the coast where Póvoa de Varzim is now located between the 4th millennium and early 2nd millennium BC. A Neolithic-Calcolithic necropolis, with seven known burial mounds, can still be seen around São Félix Hill and Cividade Hill. Widespread pillaging by rival and migrant tribes led the resident populations of the coastal plain of Póvoa de Varzim to raise a town atop the hill that stood next to the sea; the acropolis protection was reinforced by successive rings of walls and a trench at the base of the hill. Established by the 9th or 8th century B. C. the city area had several hundred inhabitants. Its location near waterways helped it to maintain commercial relations with the Mediterranean civilizations noticeable during the Carthaginian dominion of the southern Iberian Peninsula.
During the Punic Wars, the Romans became aware of the Castro region's rich deposits of tin. Viriathus, leading Lusitanian troops, hindered the expansion of the Roman Republic north of the river Douro, his murder in 138 BC opened the way for the Roman legions. Over the following two years, Decimus Junius Brutus advanced into the Castro region from south of the Douro, crushed the Castro armies, left Cividade de Terroso, in ruins; the region was pacified during the reign of Caesar Augustus and the Castro people returned to the coastal plain, where Villa Euracini and Roman fish factories were built. With the annexation by the Roman Republic, trading supported regional economic development, with Roman merchants organized in true commercial companies who looked for monopoly in commercial relations. With the fall of the Roman Empire, Suebi populations established themselves in the countryside, it was first mentioned on March 953 during the rule of Mumadona Dias, Countess of Portugal. The region was attacked by the Vikings in the 960s, by the Moors in 997 and again by Norman pirates in 1015–1016.
Hints indicate a Norse settlement in Villa Euracini after those invasions. During the Middle Ages, the name Euracini evolved to Uracini, Veracini, Verazim and Varzim. In 1033, Guterre Pelayo, a leading captain of the Reconquista for the County of Portugal, was recognized by Bermudo, Emperor in Gallaecia, as the Lord of Varzim, during the cahotic epoch following Almanzor's attack on the Christian realms. Henry, the Portuguese count, recognized his rule over the port of Varzim amongst several other possessions. Varzim overlords gained significant power and, when Portugal was a stable kingdom, Sancho I of Portugal attacked the fief and seized the port, destroyed most of the properties and expelled the farmers; the northern area became known as Varzim dos Cavaleiros and belonged to the military order of the Knights Hospitaller, who inherited the wealth of
Piacenza is a city and comune in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy, the capital of the eponymous province. The etymology is long-standing, tracing an origin from the Latin verb placēre, "to please." In French, in English, it is called Plaisance. The name means a "pleasant abode", or as James Boswell reported some of the etymologists of his time to have translated it, "comely"; this was a name "of good omen."Piacenza is located at a major crossroads at the intersection of Route E35/A1 between Bologna and Milan, Route E70/A21 between Brescia and Turin. Piacenza is at the confluence of the Trebbia, draining the northern Apennine Mountains, the Po, draining to the east. Piacenza hosts two universities, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and Polytechnic University of Milan. Before its settlement by the Romans, the area was populated by other peoples. Before says Polybius, "These plains were anciently inhabited by Etruscans" before the Gauls took the entire Po Valley from them. Piacenza and Cremona were founded as Roman military colonies in May 218 BC.
The Romans had planned to construct them after the successful conclusion of the latest war with the Gauls ending in 219 BC. In the spring of 218 BC, after declaring war on Carthage, the Senate decided to accelerate the foundation and gave the colonists 30 days to appear on the sites to receive their lands, they were each to be settled by 6,000 Roman citizens. The reaction of the region's Gauls was swift. Taking refuge in Mutina, the latter sent for military assistance. A small force under Lucius Manlius was prevented from reaching the area; the Senate sent two legions under Gaius Atelius. Collecting Manlius and the colonists, they descended on Piacenza and Cremona and placed castra there of 480 square metres to support the building of the city. Piacenza must have been walled as the walls were in place when the Battle of the Trebia was fought around the city in December. There is no evidence either archaeological of a prior settlement at that exact location. Piacenza was the 53rd colony to be placed by Rome since its foundation.
It was the first among the Gauls of the Po valley. It had to be supplied by boat after the Battle of Trebbia, when Hannibal controlled the countryside, for which purpose a port was constructed. In 209 BC, Hasdrubal Barca crossed the Alps and laid siege to the city, but he was unable to take it and withdrew. In 200 BC, the Gauls burned it, selling the population into slavery. Subsequently, the victorious Romans managed to recover 2000 citizens. In 198 BC, a combined force of Gauls and Ligurians plundered the whole region; as the people had never recovered from being sold into slavery, in 190 BC they complained to Senate of underpopulation. The construction of the Via Aemilia in the 180's made the city accessible from the Adriatic ports, which improved trade and the prospects for timely defense; the Liver of Piacenza, a bronze model of a sheep's liver for the purposes of haruspicy discovered in 1877 at Gossolengo just to the south of Piacenza, bears witness to the survival of the disciplina Etrusca well after the Roman conquest.
Although sacked and devastated several times, the city always recovered and by the 6th century Procopius was calling it "the principal city in the country of Aemilia". The first Bishop of Piacenza, San Vittorio, declared Saint Antoninus of Piacenza, a soldier of the Theban Legion, the patron saint of Piacenza and had the first basilica constructed in his honor in 324; the basilica was restored in 903 and rebuilt in 1101, again in 1562, is still a church today. The remains of the bishop and the soldier-saint are in urns under the altar; the theme of Antoninus, protector of Piacenza, is well known in art. Piacenza was sacked during the course of the Gothic War. After a short period of being reconquered by the Roman emperor Justinian I, it was conquered by the Lombards, who made it a duchy seat. After its conquest by Francia in the ninth century, the city began to recover, aided by its location along the Via Francigena that connected the Holy Roman Empire with Rome, its population and importance grew further after the year 1000.
That period marked a gradual transfer of governing powers from the feudal lords to a new enterprising class, as well to the feudal class of the countryside. In 1095, the city was the site of the Council of Piacenza, in which the First Crusade was proclaimed. From 1126, Piacenza was an important member of the Lombard League. In this role, it took part in the war against Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, in the subsequent battle of Legnano, it successfully fought the neighbouring communes of Cremona and Parma, expanding its possessions. Piacenza captured control of the trading routes with Genoa, where the first Piacentini bankers had settled, from the Malaspina counts and the bishop of Bobbio. In the 13th century, despite unsuccessful wars against Frederick I, Piacenza managed to gain strongholds on the Lombardy shore of the Po; the primilaries of the Peace of Cons
A Roman legion was a large unit of the Roman army. In the early Roman Kingdom "legion" may have meant the entire Roman army but sources on this period are few and unreliable; the subsequent organization of legions varied over time but legions were composed of around five thousand soldiers. During much of the republican era, a legion was divided into three lines of ten maniples. In the late republic and much of the imperial period, a legion was divided into ten cohorts, each of six centuries. Legions included a small ala, or cavalry, unit. By the third century AD, the legion was a much smaller unit of about 1,000 to 1,500 men, there were more of them. In the fourth century AD, East Roman border guard legions may have become smaller. In terms of organisation and function, the republican era legion may have been influenced by the ancient Greek and Macedonian phalanx. For most of the Roman Imperial period, the legions formed the Roman army's elite heavy infantry, recruited from Roman citizens, while the remainder of the army consisted of auxiliaries, who provided additional infantry and the vast majority of the Roman army's cavalry.
The Roman army, for most of the Imperial period, consisted of auxiliaries rather than legions. Many of the legions founded before 40 BC were still active until at least the fifth century, notably Legio V Macedonica, founded by Augustus in 43 BC and was in Egypt in the seventh century during the Islamic conquest of Egypt; because legions were not permanent units until the Marian reforms, were instead created and disbanded again, several hundred legions were named and numbered throughout Roman history. To date, about 50 have been identified; the republican legions were composed of levied men that paid for their own equipment and thus the structure of the Roman army at this time reflected the society, at any time there would be four consular legions and in time of war extra legions could be levied. Toward the end of the 2nd century BC, Rome started to experience manpower shortages brought about by property and financial qualifications to join the army; this prompted consul Gaius Marius to remove property qualifications and decree that all citizens, regardless of their wealth or social class, were made eligible for service in the Roman army with equipment and rewards for fulfilling years of service provided by the state.
The Roman army became a volunteer and standing army which extended service beyond Roman citizens but to non-citizens that could sign on as auxillia and were rewarded Roman citizenship upon completion of service and all the rights and privileges that entailed. In the time of Augustus, there were nearly 50 upon his succession but this was reduced to about 25–35 permanent standing legions and this remained the figure for most of the empire's history; the legion evolved from 3,000 men in the Roman Republic to over 5,200 men in the Roman Empire, consisting of centuries as the basic units. Until the middle of the first century, ten cohorts made up a Roman legion; this was changed to nine cohorts of standard size with the first cohort being of double strength. By the fourth century AD, the legion was a much smaller unit of about 1,000 to 1,500 men, there were more of them; this had come about as the large formation legion and auxiliary unit, 10,000 men, was broken down into smaller units - temporary detachments - to cover more territory.
In the fourth century AD, East Roman border guard legions may have become smaller. In terms of organisation and function, the Republican era legion may have been influenced by the ancient Greek and Macedonian phalanx. A legion consisted of several cohorts of heavy infantry known as legionaries, it was always accompanied by one or more attached units of auxiliaries, who were not Roman citizens and provided cavalry, ranged troops and skirmishers to complement the legion's heavy infantry. The recruitment of non-citizens appears to have occurred in times of great need. A Legion consisted of a Contubernium, consisted of 8 Legionaries; these Legionaries Were accompanied by 2 slaves. The Legionaries would select a man amongst their ranks to become a Decanus this was more of an election than a decision by one person; the size of a typical legion varied throughout the history of ancient Rome, with complements of 4,200 legionaries and 300 equites in the republican period of Rome, to 5,200 men plus 120 auxiliaries in the imperial period.
In the period before the raising of the legio and the early years of the Roman Kingdom and the Republic, forces are described as being organized into centuries of one hundred men. These centuries were grouped together as required and answered to the leader who had hired or raised them; such independent organization persisted until the 2nd century BC amongst light infantry and cavalry, but was discarded in periods with the supporting role taken instead by allied troops. The roles of century leader, secon