Attractions

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…
Architecture in Arc-et-Senans

Saline Royale

Envisaged by its designer, Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, as the ‘ideal city’, the 18th-century Saline Royale (Royal Saltworks) is a showpiece of early Industrial Age town planning. Although his urban dream was never fully …
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…
Castle in The Jura Mountains

Château de Joux

Clinging to a picturesque limestone outcrop, Château de Joux, 10km north of Métabief, used to guard the route between Switzerland and France. Today it houses France’s most impressive arms museum and a 147m-deep well…
Chapel in The Jura Mountains

Chapelle de Notre-Dame du Haut

Le Corbusier designed the surreal modernist Chapelle de Notre-Dame du Haut on this age-old site of Marian pilgrimage. With a sweeping concrete roof, dazzling stained-glass windows and plastic features, it's consider…
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, …
Cave in Baume-les-Messieurs

Grottes de Baume

About 2km south of Baume-les-Messieurs, the 30-million-year-old Grottes de Baume feature some impressive stalagmites and stalactites, arrayed in more than a kilometre of accessible galleries. If you plan on visiting…
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 …
Monastery in Baume-les-Messieurs

Abbaye Impériale

Baume-les-Messieurs' abandoned Benedictine Abbaye Impériale has an exquisite polychrome Flemish altarpiece dating from the 16th century (the time when the abbey, which grew from a simple 7th-century monastic cell, w…