BELFORT, BtFonT, or BEDFORT, a second-class fortified town of France, was formerly in the department of Upper Rhine, and capital of an arrondissement ; but since the peace of 1871, it has given name to a separate territory not as yet incorporated with any department. It is situated on the left bank of the Sauvoureuse, 38 miles S.S.W. of Colmar, at the intersection of several important roads and railways, by which it maintains a considerable trade with Germany and Switzerland. It contains a handsome church, - St Cristophe, erected in the 18th century, - a college, a large public library, a synagogue, a theatre, and an hospital. There are several iron foundries, and iron-wire and tin-plate factories ; and the manufacture of hats and leather is also carried on. Bclfort, however, derives its chief importance from the citadel and entrenched camp, which render it one of the most valuable military posts on the French frontier, defending as they do the entrance into the country through the opening between the Vosges and the Jura. The citadel dates from the 13th century, and the town itself was first regularly fortified in 1688 by Vauban. In November 1870 siege was laid to the place by the German forces, but the French garrison managed to hold out till the 16th of February 1871, when they capitulated with the sanction of the Government, and marched out with the honours of war. The conquerors finally evacuated the place in July 1871. At the census of 1872 the population of the town was found to be 8014.