Montbéliard is a city in the Doubs department in the Franche-Comté
Franche-Comté the former "Free County" of Burgundy, as distinct from the neighbouring Duchy, is an administrative region and a traditional province of eastern France...

Régions of France
France is divided into 27 administrative regions , 22 of which are in Metropolitan France, and five of which are overseas. Corsica is a territorial collectivity , but is considered a region in mainstream usage, and is even shown as such on the INSEE website...

 in eastern France. It is one of the two subprefectures of the department.


Mentioned first in 985 as Mons Beliardae, it became a county
County of Montbéliard
The County of Montbéliard , also known as County of Mömpelgard , was a feudal county of the Holy Roman Empire based around the city of Montbéliard in the present-day Franche-Comté region of France...

 of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 in the 11th century. In 1397 the town, known in German as Mömpelgard, passed by marriage of Henriette, heiress of county to Eberhard IV, Count of Württemberg
Eberhard IV, Count of Württemberg
Eberhard IV of Württemberg , Count of Württemberg.-Life:He was elder son of Count Eberhard III and Antonia Visconti. On 13 November 1397 he became engaged to Henriette of Mömpelgard...

, to the House of Württemberg
House of Württemberg
The Württemberg family is a European royal family and a German dynasty from Württemberg. The House has its origins, according to recent research, probably in the vicinity of the Salian dynasty.-History:...

 . In 1524, ten years earlier than in Württemberg
Württemberg , formerly known as Wirtemberg or Wurtemberg, is an area and a former state in southwestern Germany, including parts of the regions Swabia and Franconia....

, duke Ulrich
Ulrich, Duke of Württemberg
Herzog Ulrich von Württemberg succeeded his kinsman Eberhard II as Duke of Württemberg in 1498, being declared of age in 1503.-Early life:...

 and reformer William Farel
William Farel
William Farel , né Guilhem Farel, 1489 in Gap, Dauphiné, in south-eastern France, was a French evangelist, and a founder of the Reformed Church in the cantons of Neuchâtel, Berne, Geneva, and Vaud in Switzerland...

 made Mömpelgard Protestant
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 (specifically Lutheran
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

). From 1598 to 1608, the architect Heinrich Schickhardt built several landmarks of the city, like St. Martin, a castle, a bridge, a college and several hotels.

After the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

, it was briefly incorporated into the Rauracian Republic
Rauracian Republic
The Rauracian Republic was a state that included parts of modern France and Switzerland around the Jura mountains. It was created from the northern portion of the Prince-Bishopric of Basel, which was part of the Holy Roman Empire....

. In 1793 the town was annexed to France, which was confirmed in 1796 and by the German Mediatisation
German Mediatisation
The German Mediatisation was the series of mediatisations and secularisations that occurred in Germany between 1795 and 1814, during the latter part of the era of the French Revolution and then the Napoleonic Era....

 of 1806, when Württemberg was compensated with other areas, and became a kingdom.

As a consequence of the former rule under the dukes of Württemberg, it has been for centuries one of the few Protestant (specifically Lutheran) enclaves in France. The Württemberg coat of arms from 1495 represents Montbéliard as two jumping fishes on a red field.


The metropolitan area has a population of 302,000 (with the city of Belfort
Belfort is a commune in the Territoire de Belfort department in Franche-Comté in northeastern France and is the prefecture of the department. It is located on the Savoureuse, on the strategically important natural route between the Rhine and the Rhône – the Belfort Gap or Burgundian Gate .-...



List of mayors
Period Name Political party
1947–1957 Lucien Tharradin RPF
1959–1965 Jean-Pierre Tuefferd PS
Socialist Party (France)
The Socialist Party is a social-democratic political party in France and the largest party of the French centre-left. It is one of the two major contemporary political parties in France, along with the center-right Union for a Popular Movement...

1965–1978 André Boulloche PS
Socialist Party (France)
The Socialist Party is a social-democratic political party in France and the largest party of the French centre-left. It is one of the two major contemporary political parties in France, along with the center-right Union for a Popular Movement...

1978–1989 André Lang PS
Socialist Party (France)
The Socialist Party is a social-democratic political party in France and the largest party of the French centre-left. It is one of the two major contemporary political parties in France, along with the center-right Union for a Popular Movement...

1989–2008 Louis Souvet UMP
Union for a Popular Movement
The Union for a Popular Movement is a centre-right political party in France, and one of the two major contemporary political parties in the country along with the center-left Socialist Party...

2008–? Jacques Hélias PS
Socialist Party (France)
The Socialist Party is a social-democratic political party in France and the largest party of the French centre-left. It is one of the two major contemporary political parties in France, along with the center-right Union for a Popular Movement...

The previous data are unknown.


Montbéliard and the surrounding region constitute an important manufacturing center mainly based upon metallurgy and car industry.

The main manufacturing plant of the Peugeot
Peugeot is a major French car brand, part of PSA Peugeot Citroën, the second largest carmaker based in Europe.The family business that precedes the current Peugeot company was founded in 1810, and manufactured coffee mills and bicycles. On 20 November 1858, Emile Peugeot applied for the lion...

 automobile company is partly located in Montbéliard and has around 20,000 employees. In the area the automotive industry accounts for 34,000 employees in more than 100 companies. The Peugeot company's museum
Musée de l'Aventure Peugeot
The Musée de l'Aventure Peugeot is a historical museum devoted to the Peugeot automobile business. The museum was founded by members of the Peugeot family, opening in 1988 across the road from the company’s huge industrial site at Sochaux in the Franche-Comté...

 is located in the adjacent commune of Sochaux
Sochaux is a commune in the Doubs department in the Franche-Comté region in eastern France.-Population:Inhabitants are known as Sochaliens.-Economy:...


Montbéliard is the center of the 'Pays de Montbéliard', a metropolitan area of 132,000 inhabitants.

Main sights

  • The Château de Montbéliard
    Château de Montbéliard
    The Château de Montbéliard , also known as the Château des ducs de Württemberg is a fortress located on an outcropping rock that surveys the town of Montbéliard in the Doubs département of France...

    , the castle of the Dukes of Württemberg.

As the residence of the Counts of Montbéliard, the history of the castle is closely linked with the story of the families that reigned over the County for more than eight centuries. Built on a rocky promontory at the confluence of the Lizaine and Allan valleys, this stronghold, which already existed in the 10th century, was constantly transformed during the course of the centuries. Today, on the northern side of the edifice, one can admire the Henriette Tower (reconstructed by Countess Henriette in approximately 1424), the Frédéric Tower (1572 and 1595) and the main building dating back to the 18th century. The castle has become the Museum of the Castle of the Dukes of Württemberg, which includes a historical tour, an important archaeological department whose collections come mainly from excavations of local Gallo-Roman sites, the Cuvier natural history gallery and exhibits of paintings and sculptures of international renown. On the esplanade of the Castle, the Clock pavilion or Hôtel du Bailli (Bailli's quarters, also known as the gentlemen's quarters), built according to plans of the architect Schickhardt at the beginning of the 17th century, houses today the Academy of Music.
  • The Museum of Art and History Beurnier Rossel.

The Beurnier-Rossel mansion, located opposite St. Martin's church, near the Town Hall, stands as a witness to the life-style of the urban bourgeoisie during the 18h and 19th centuries. Today it houses the Museum of Art and History. The restored 18th century reception rooms on the first floor contain furniture, paintings, chandeliers and draperies which recreate the ambiance of a private residence. On the second floor, there is an exhibit of objects relating to the history of the town and local life (bibles, liturgical vessels, traditional headdresses etc.) and the collection of music boxes made by L'Épée is exhibited in the attic.
  • Saint-Martin Protestant Church.

Saint Martin Protestant Church was built between 1601 and 1607 and is the work of Heinrich Schickhardt, the architect of Frederic 1st Prince of Montbéliard, in its purest form. It is also the oldest church in France dedicated to the Reformation form of worship.
  • Saint Maimboeuf Church.

Built between 1850 and 1875 on the Cardinal Mathieu's request to assert the Catholic reconquest over Lutheranism, Saint Maimboeuf Church dominates the town. Rich facade adornments and polychrome altarpiece. Worth seeing: its never-ending spire.


Montbeliard's most popular sports club is FCSM
FC Sochaux-Montbéliard
Football Club Sochaux-Montbéliard is a French association football club based in the city of Montbéliard. The club was founded in 1928 and currently plays in Ligue 1, the top tier of French football. Sochaux plays its home matches at the Stade Auguste Bonal located within the city...

 (Football Club Sochaux-Montbéliard).
Founded in 1928, FC Sochaux-Montbéliard was a founder member of the French professional Football League. The club has played a record 62 seasons in Ligue 1
Ligue 1
Ligue 1 , is the French professional league for association football clubs. It is the country's primary football competition and serves as the top division of the French football league system. Ligue 1 is one of two divisions making up the Ligue de Football Professionnel, the other being Ligue 2....

, the most of any club in the French football league system. This consistancy contributed to the fact that FCSM, though a small club, has won all the possible national trophies.

FC Sochaux-Montbéliard Club honours :
  • League Champions of France in 1935 and 1938
  • League Runners-up in 1937, 1953 and 1980
  • Champions of the French Second Division in 1947 and 2001
  • French Cup winners in 1937 and 2007
  • French Cup Runners-up in 1959, 1967 and 1988
  • League Cup winners in 2004
  • League Cup Runners-up in 2003
  • Coupe Drago (former French League Cup ) winners in 1953, 1963 and 1964
  • Seven times UEFA Cup participations, with the best result as semi-finalists in 1980/1981
  • Coupe Gambardella (National Youth Cup ) winners 1983 and 2007
  • Third Division Champions in 1987 (Reserves)


Montbéliard is the birthplace of:
  • Nicolaus Taurellus
    Nicolaus Taurellus
    Nicolaus Taurellus was a German philosopher and theologian.He was born in the County of Mömpelgard, then part of the Duchy of Württemberg. With support from Duke Georg I. of Württemberg-Mömpelgard, he read theology at University of Tübingen and medicine at the University of Basel, where he...

     (1547–1606), philosopher and theologian
  • Nicolas Tournier
    Nicolas Tournier
    Nicolas Tournier was a French Baroque painter.Born in Montbéliard, he followed the profession of his father, André Tournier, "a Protestant painter from Besançon". Little is known of his life before his arrival in Rome, where he worked between 1619 and 1626, and where he was influenced by the work...

     (1590-ca. 1638), painter
  • Wolf Christoph Zorn von Plobsheim (1655–1721), architect (:de:Wolf Christoph Zorn von Plobsheim)
  • Georges Cuvier
    Georges Cuvier
    Georges Chrétien Léopold Dagobert Cuvier or Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric Cuvier , known as Georges Cuvier, was a French naturalist and zoologist...

     (1769–1832), naturalist and zoologist
  • Alexander of Württemberg (1771-1833)
  • Frédéric Cuvier
    Frédéric Cuvier
    Frédéric Cuvier was a French zoologist. He was the younger brother of noted naturalist and zoologist Georges Cuvier....

     (1773–1838), zoologist and physicist
  • Henri Mouhot
    Henri Mouhot
    Henri Mouhot was a French naturalist and explorer of the mid-19th century. He was born in Montbéliard, Doubs, France - near the Swiss border, but spent his childhood in Russia and possibly, parts of Asia. He died near Naphan, Laos...

     (1826–1861), naturalist
  • René Thom
    René Thom
    René Frédéric Thom was a French mathematician. He made his reputation as a topologist, moving on to aspects of what would be called singularity theory; he became world-famous among the wider academic community and the educated general public for one aspect of this latter interest, his work as...

     (1923–2002), mathematician
  • Dominique Voynet
    Dominique Voynet
    Dominique Voynet was a French senator for the département of Seine-Saint-Denis, the mayor of Montreuil and a member of The Greens.-Life:...

     (born 1958), Green politician)
  • Frank Darabont
    Frank Darabont
    Frank Darabont is a Hungarian-American film director, screenwriter and producer who has been nominated for three Academy Awards and a Golden Globe. He has directed the films The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Mist, all based on stories by Stephen King...

     (born 1959), American filmmaker
  • Adrien Mörk
    Adrien Mörk
    Adrien Mörk is a French professional golfer. In 2006 he recorded the first ever sub 60 round on any tour run by the PGA European Tour.-Career:Mörk was born in Montbéliard. He attended the McNeese State University in the United States...

     (born 1979), golfer
  • Pierre-Alain Frau
    Pierre-Alain Frau
    Pierre-Alain Frau, is a French football forward who plays for Caen in Ligue 1. Frau can operate on the right wing or play as a one of the two striker positions up front.- Career :...

     (1980–present), footballer
  • Eric Deloumeaux
    Éric Deloumeaux
    Éric Deloumeaux is a French footballer who currently plays as a defender for CMS Oissel. He has spent his career in his native France and for a number of British clubs including Coventry City and Livingston .-External links:* *...


International relations

Montbéliard is twinned with: Greensboro, North Carolina
Greensboro, North Carolina
Greensboro is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is the third-largest city by population in North Carolina and the largest city in Guilford County and the surrounding Piedmont Triad metropolitan region. According to the 2010 U.S...

, USA Ludwigsburg
Ludwigsburg is a city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, about north of Stuttgart city centre, near the river Neckar. It is the largest and primary city of the Ludwigsburg urban district with about 87,000 inhabitants...

, Germany

External links

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