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Besançon

Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Doubs

Besançon - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Doubs
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Capital of the Franche-Comté region, the City of Art and History of Besançon is built on a loop of the River Doubs and is dominated by the imposing silhouette of its citadel. Masterpiece by the engineer Vauban, the citadel of Besançon constitutes a remarkable example of the 17th-century military architecture. Besides its fortifications and its magnificent panoramic view of the roofs of the city and the Doubs valley, the citadel is home to many museums: the Comtois museum, the Vauban centre, the Resistance and Deportation museum, and the Natural History museum complete with zoo, evolution trail, insectarium, aquarium, noctarium and climatorium.

The visit of Besançon continues with the discovery of the historic centre situated below the citadel. The Saint-Jean cathedral and its magnificent astronomical clock made of 30,000 pieces; the very lively Grande-Rue and Revolution square; the Granvelle palace, a magnificent building of the Renaissance period today home to the Time museum dedicated to clock-making; the Vauban quays and its arcaded houses along the River Doubs; the birth house of the famous writer Victor Hugo, and the beautiful mansions of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries are some of the many places of interest to be discovered on a walk round the town.

Not to be missed also, the Fine art and Archaeology museum, situated on the Revolution square in a former 19th-century corn exchange which houses archaeology and art collections.

Boasting numerous green spaces, the town of Besançon also appeals to park and garden lovers, with the botanical garden and its numerous sorts of plants, trees and flowers, and the Micaud Promenade, a pleasant three-hectare park situated along the River Doubs.

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Besançon

Sheltered by its imposing fortifications, Besançon protects its prestigious heritage and quality of life. Renaissance houses and eighteenth-century mansions punctuate the discovery walks in the heart of the old town.

Do not hesitate to push a few doors, they often open on beautiful courtyards open to staircases with open cages, subtly adorned with ironwork and carved balusters. Pasteur, Victor-Hugo... the places evoke celebrities born or having stayed in Besançon. City of art and history, inscribed in the patrimony of UNESCO thanks to the genius of Vauban.

Whatever the duration of your visit, do not miss a walk on the loop of the Doubs by boat: boat trip, passenger boats, electric boats for hire... The walk can also be done on foot or By bike on the docks.

Besançon is also a green city because it is surrounded by hills (maintained by goats). These wooded hills are topped by forts. Marked paths make it possible to discover it.

The oldest part of the city is called the Battant district, and there are many beautiful historical elements in a convivial atmosphere. At the top of the neighborhood, Fort Griffon offers a beautiful view of the city, its small flat tiles, bell towers and the citadel.

Things to see and do

Places of interest

Information points
Leisure centres
Monuments
Natural sites
Performance halls
Transport

Events and festivities

Photos

Place of the Revolution
Place of the Revolution
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Tower of the Pelota and Minotaur
Tower of the Pelota and Minotaur
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Door of Rivotte
Door of Rivotte
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Besançon - ​​Doubs Valley - South side, seen from the citadel
Besançon - ​​Doubs Valley - South side, seen from the citadel
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The Doubs, dam of Tarragnoz, seen from the citadel
The Doubs, dam of Tarragnoz, seen from the citadel
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Palais Granvelle and its museum of Time
Palais Granvelle and its museum of Time
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Stroll on the Quai Vauban
Stroll on the Quai Vauban
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View of the citadel from the docks of the city center
View of the citadel from the docks of the city center
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The Doubs, north side, seen from the citadel
The Doubs, north side, seen from the citadel
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Besançon and the citadel, seen from the fort of Bregille
Besançon and the citadel, seen from the fort of Bregille
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Besançon seen from the fort of Beauregard
Besançon seen from the fort of Beauregard
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Church of Saint-Pierre (© Jean Espirat)
Church of Saint-Pierre (© Jean Espirat)
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Sainte-Madeleine Church (© Jean Espirat)
Sainte-Madeleine Church (© Jean Espirat)
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Porch of the Cathedral of Saint John (© Jean Espirat)
Porch of the Cathedral of Saint John (© Jean Espirat)
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Nave of the cathedral Saint-Jean (© Jean Espirat)
Nave of the cathedral Saint-Jean (© Jean Espirat)
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Gallery of the old cloister of the cathedral (© Jean Espirat)
Gallery of the old cloister of the cathedral (© Jean Espirat)
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Cathedral of Saint John - Sculpture of a marquee - XIIth century (© J.E)
Cathedral of Saint John - Sculpture of a marquee - XIIth century (© J.E)
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Saint John Cathedral - Another twelfth-century sculpture (© J.E)
Saint John Cathedral - Another twelfth-century sculpture (© J.E)
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Cathedral - Tympanum of the porch of the former cloister (© J.E)
Cathedral - Tympanum of the porch of the former cloister (© J.E)
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Cathedral - Painting of the Virgin to the Saints (© Jean Espirat)
Cathedral - Painting of the Virgin to the Saints (© Jean Espirat)
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Stained glass windows of the cathedral (© Jean Espirat)
Stained glass windows of the cathedral (© Jean Espirat)
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Stained glass window of the cathedral (© Jean Espirat)
Stained glass window of the cathedral (© Jean Espirat)
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Stained glass window of the cathedral (© Jean Espirat)
Stained glass window of the cathedral (© Jean Espirat)
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Stained glass window of the cathedral (© Jean Espirat)
Stained glass window of the cathedral (© Jean Espirat)
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Stained glass window of the cathedral (© Jean Espirat)
Stained glass window of the cathedral (© Jean Espirat)
See photo
Stained glass window of the cathedral (© Jean Espirat)
Stained glass window of the cathedral (© Jean Espirat)
See photo
Stained glass window of the cathedral (© Jean Espirat)
Stained glass window of the cathedral (© Jean Espirat)
See photo
Stained glass window of the cathedral (© Jean Espirat)
Stained glass window of the cathedral (© Jean Espirat)
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Stained glass window of the cathedral (© Jean Espirat)
Stained glass window of the cathedral (© Jean Espirat)
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Saint-Maurice church - pulpit chair (© Jean Espirat)
Saint-Maurice church - pulpit chair (© Jean Espirat)
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Nave of the Saint-Maurice church (© Jean Espirat)
Nave of the Saint-Maurice church (© Jean Espirat)
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Altarpiece of the Saint-Maurice church (© Jean Espirat)
Altarpiece of the Saint-Maurice church (© Jean Espirat)
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Old eagle (measure) of Besançon (© Jean Espirat)
Old eagle (measure) of Besançon (© Jean Espirat)
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Great street (© Jean Espirat)
Great street (© Jean Espirat)
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Hotel Boitouset (© Jean Espirat)
Hotel Boitouset (© Jean Espirat)
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Behind Doubs, the Quai Vauban (© Jean Espirat)
Behind Doubs, the Quai Vauban (© Jean Espirat)
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House with corner turret (© Jean Espirat)
House with corner turret (© Jean Espirat)
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Statue against a wall (© Jean Espirat)
Statue against a wall (© Jean Espirat)
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Another statue against a wall (© Jean Espirat)
Another statue against a wall (© Jean Espirat)
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Venelle in the old town (© Jean Espirat)
Venelle in the old town (© Jean Espirat)
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Key of old vault (© Jean Espirat)
Key of old vault (© Jean Espirat)
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Fountain of the Carmelites (© Jean Espirat)
Fountain of the Carmelites (© Jean Espirat)
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Fountain of the Doubs (© Jean Espirat)
Fountain of the Doubs (© Jean Espirat)
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Fountain Place Jean Cornet (© Jean Espirat)
Fountain Place Jean Cornet (© Jean Espirat)
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Fountain Saint-Quentin (© Jean Espirat)
Fountain Saint-Quentin (© Jean Espirat)
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Charles Quint Town Hall and Fountain (© Jean Espirat)
Charles Quint Town Hall and Fountain (© Jean Espirat)
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Hotel Mareschal (© Jean Espirat)
Hotel Mareschal (© Jean Espirat)
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Inscription near the porch of the former convent of the Jacobins (© J.E)
Inscription near the porch of the former convent of the Jacobins (© J.E)
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Portal of the former convent of the Jacobins (© Jean Espirat)
Portal of the former convent of the Jacobins (© Jean Espirat)
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Courtyard of the Palais Granvelle (© Jean Espirat)
Courtyard of the Palais Granvelle (© Jean Espirat)
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Black door (© Jean Espirat)
Black door (© Jean Espirat)
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North column of the black door (© Jean Espirat)
North column of the black door (© Jean Espirat)
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South column of the black door (© Jean Espirat)
South column of the black door (© Jean Espirat)
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Porte Rivotte, seen from the inside (© Jean Espirat)
Porte Rivotte, seen from the inside (© Jean Espirat)
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Lintel with curious inscription (© Jean Espirat)
Lintel with curious inscription (© Jean Espirat)
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Victor Hugo's birthplace (© Jean Espirat)
Victor Hugo's birthplace (© Jean Espirat)
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Plate fixed very high against a wall (© Jean Espirat)
Plate fixed very high against a wall (© Jean Espirat)
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Columns of the Roman theater, in the square Castan (© J.E)
Columns of the Roman theater, in the square Castan (© J.E)
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Plan of the Roman theater, square Castan (© J.E)
Plan of the Roman theater, square Castan (© J.E)
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Statuette with inscription (© Jean Espirat)
Statuette with inscription (© Jean Espirat)
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Another statuette against a wall (© Jean Espirat)
Another statuette against a wall (© Jean Espirat)
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Virgin and Child, against a wall (© Jean Espirat)
Virgin and Child, against a wall (© Jean Espirat)
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Tower of the Pelote - fifteenth century (© Jean Espirat)
Tower of the Pelote - fifteenth century (© Jean Espirat)
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Tour Notre-Dame - Fortifications South-West (© Jean Espirat)
Tour Notre-Dame - Fortifications South-West (© Jean Espirat)
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Monument of the liberation, in the chapel of the Buis (© Jean Espirat)
Monument of the liberation, in the chapel of the Buis (© Jean Espirat)
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Chapel of the Buis (© Jean Espirat)
Chapel of the Buis (© Jean Espirat)
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Chapel of the Buis (© Jean Espirat)
Chapel of the Buis (© Jean Espirat)
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Capital carved from the Chapel of the Buis (© Jean Espirat)
Capital carved from the Chapel of the Buis (© Jean Espirat)
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Capital carved from the Chapel of the Buis (© Jean Espirat)
Capital carved from the Chapel of the Buis (© Jean Espirat)
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Nave of the Chapelle des Buis (© Jean Espirat)
Nave of the Chapelle des Buis (© Jean Espirat)
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Panorama from the monument of the liberation (© Jean Espirat)
Panorama from the monument of the liberation (© Jean Espirat)
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Panorama from the monument of the liberation (© Jean Espirat)
Panorama from the monument of the liberation (© Jean Espirat)
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Besançon seen from the tower of the King, to the citadel (© J.E)
Besançon seen from the tower of the King, to the citadel (© J.E)
See photo
The citadel seen from the boat-promenade (© Jean Espirat)
The citadel seen from the boat-promenade (© Jean Espirat)
See photo
The underground river canal seen from the boat-promenade (© J.E)
The underground river canal seen from the boat-promenade (© J.E)
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North-West side of the city seen from the ramparts of the citadel (© Jean Espirat)
North-West side of the city seen from the ramparts of the citadel (© Jean Espirat)
See photo
South side seen from the ramparts of the citadel (© J.E)
South side seen from the ramparts of the citadel (© J.E)
See photo
The Doubs on the South (© Jean Espirat)
The Doubs on the South (© Jean Espirat)
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North-West side of Besançon seen from the citadel (© J.E)
North-West side of Besançon seen from the citadel (© J.E)
See photo

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