Église de la Madeleine


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

Piercing the gloom of its spare granite interior is a collection of 17th- and 18th-century paintings.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Besançon attractions

2. Hôtel de Ville

0.27 MILES

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…

3. Musée du Temps

0.45 MILES

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

4. Parc Micaud

0.57 MILES

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…

5. 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…

6. Porte Noire

0.66 MILES

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…

7. 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…

8. 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…