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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.
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 (possibly Latinized), as the largest town of the Sequani, a smaller Gaulic tribe, and mentions that a wooden palisade surrounded it.
In 1157, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa held the Diet of Besançon.
There, Cardinal Orlando Bandinelli (the future Pope Alexander III, then adviser of Pope Adrian IV) openly asserted before the Emperor that the imperial dignity was a papal beneficium (in the more general sense of favour, not the strict feudal sense of fief), which incurred the wrath of the German princes.
When Charles V abdicated in 1555, he gave the Franche-Comté to his son, Philip II, King of Spain.
Over the centuries, the name permutated to become Besantio, Besontion, Bisanz in Middle High German and gradually arrived at the modern French Besançon.