Must-see attractions in Besançon

  • A picture taken on July 10, 2008, in Besancon, eastern France shows the fortification of the town's citadel, which was added to the list of World Heritage sites by UNESCO on July 7 2008. The fortification represents the "finest examples" of the work of Sebastien Le Prestre de Vauban, a military engineer of King Louis XIV. The total number of World Heritage sites now reaches 878 sites in 145 countries.   AFP PHOTO JEFF PACHOUD (Photo credit should read JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images)

    Citadelle de Besançon


    Dominating the city from Mt St-Etienne, more than 100 vertical metres above the old town, the 17th-century Citadelle de Besançon – designed by Vauban for…

  • Musée du Temps


    Literal and figurative interpretations of time are woven together at the Musée du Temps, which places allegorical paintings about the passage of time next…

  • Museum of Fine Arts and Archeology in Besançon, France.

    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…

  • BESANCONS, FRANCE/EUROPE - SEPTEMBER 13: Astronomical Clock in Cathedral of St Jean in Besancon France on September 13, 2015; Shutterstock ID 323711300; full: digital; gl: 65050; netsuite: pot; your: Barbara Di Castro

    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…

  • The black gate in Besançon.

    Porte Noire


    Erected in AD 175 in honour of Marcus Aurelius, this 16.5m-high Roman triumphal arch stands very near where the columns of a Roman theatre and the…

  • Maison Natale de Victor Hugo


    This spiffy museum gives an engaging account of the life and works of Besançon's best-known literary son, Victor Hugo, famous for masterpieces such as Les…

  • Cathédrale St-Jean


    The earliest parts of Besançon's cathedral date to 1127. Though heavily modified in ensuing centuries, following a 13th-century fire and the collapse of…

  • Hôtel de Ville


    Dating in its earliest parts from the late 14th century and later decorated with Italian Renaissance-style flourishes, Besançon's town hall was gutted by…

  • FRAC Franche-Comté


    Behind the chequerboard timber façade of this riverside gallery are ever-changing contemporary art exhibitions. The distinctive building, FRAC's home…

  • Parc Micaud


    Created in the 19th century, this leafy promenade is the ideal spot to stroll by the Doubs River and it's popular with local cyclists. It's a good place…

  • Église de la Madeleine


    This 18th-century neoclassical church towers over place Jouffroy, at the foot of the Battant district.