Top Choice Citadel in Besançon

Citadelle de Besançon

Dominating the city from Mt St Etienne, 120 vertical metres above the old town, the 17th-century Citadelle de Besançon – designed by Vauban for Louis XIV – commands sweeping views of the city and the serpentine Rive…
Top Choice Museum in Besançon

Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’Archéologie

France's oldest public museum, founded in 1694, is famous for its stellar collection of local Gallo-Roman archaeology; its Cabinet des Dessins, with some 6000 drawings from the 15th to 20th centuries, including mast…
Monument in Besançon

Horloge Astronomique

The base of 18th-century Cathédrale St-Jean's bell tower houses an incredible astronomical clock, powered by 11 weights, that has run the church's bells since its installation in 1860. The ornate gadget has 30,000 m…
Historic Site in Besançon

Porte Noire

Erected in AD 175 in honour of Marcus Aurelius, this Roman triumphal arch stands very near where the columns of a Roman theatre and the vestiges of an aqueduct (all still visible) were discovered in 1870. The site, …
Museum in Besançon

FRAC Franche-Comté

Bringing contemporary art to the Franche-Comté region is the raison d'être of this museum, which opened in 2013. The riverside building, with its distinctive chequerboard timber façade, was designed by the Japanese …
Museum in Besançon

Musée du Temps

Housed in the grand 16th-century Palais Granvelle, this museum testifies to the proud history of horologie (watchmaking) in Besançon. Astrological clocks, watches, cabinet clocks, watchmaking tools: the beauty and p…
Park in Besançon

Parc Micaud

For that must-have snapshot of the hilltop citadel with the swiftly flowing Doubs in the foreground, take a stroll along this leafy riverside promenade, a great spot for a picnic with a view. A carousel, a playgroun…
Cathedral in Besançon

Cathédrale St-Jean

The treasures of this cathedral – which dates in its earliest parts to the 11th century – include an early 15th-century wood carving of the Virgin and Child and an extraordinary astronomic clock, installed between 1…
Museum in Besançon

Maison Natale de Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo, famous for masterpieces such as Les Misérables and Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), was born here in 1802. Exhibits focus on the great man's public life and political activism.
Historic Building in Besançon

House of the Lumière Brothers

A plaque marks the house in which the Lumière brothers, Auguste and Louis, were born (in 1862 and 1864 respectively). Aptly named (lumière means ‘light’), the brothers were among the earliest pioneers of motion pict…