Belfort, Or Befort, a fortified town of France, formerly in the department of Haut-Rhin, on the Savoureuse, 75 m. S. S. W. of Strasburg; pop. in 1866, 8,400. It has manufactures of iron, paper, hats, and printed calico, and was formerly one of the chief entrepots of the French trade with Germany and Switzerland. It is of great importance in a military point of view, as it controls the Trouee de Belfort, the passage between the Vosges and the Jura. The town was ceded to France by Austria by the treaty of Westphalia in 1648, at which time it was a place of little strength, but the French made it a fortress of the second rank. The Germans besieged it in October, 1870, and it capitulated on Feb. 16, 1871, its garrison of 2,000 men being allowed free departure. At the conclusion of peace Belfort, with its surrounding district (rayon), was exempted from the cession of Alsace to Germany; but it is still occupied by a German garrison (1873) pending the complete payment of the French indemnity.
Albert Memorial Tower.