Belfort remained French thanks to heroic locals

Bartholdi’s huge lion monument honours Belfort’s resistance

A look at the cultural history of a French region bordering on Switzerland and Germany

The Territoire de Belfort in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region near to the Swiss and German borders is the smallest department outside Paris. Its 145,000 residents are immensely proud of being Belfortains because they were the only part of Alsace, which was not annexed by Germany in the Prussian wars.

This was because the inhabitants of the city held out during a three-month siege which lasted 103 days from November 3, 1870 to February 18, 1871. The ...

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