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Montbéliard is the third-largest city in Franche-Comté, after Besançon and Mulhouse. It lies at the confluence of Orne and Saône rivers. The population has increased mainly in the first half of 20th century: from 6,000 inhabitants around 1900 to 32,000 inhabitants in 1954 (100% increase) then 50 000 (150%) today. History [ edit ] The town was founded by Germanic Alemannic tribes who overran Roman Gaul at the beginning of 4th century AD as a military outpost on a rocky promontory overlooking an important crossing point over both rivers. In late Antiquity it became known as Mediomatrici or Mediomatrix, i.e.