Maison Natale de Victor Hugo

Besançon

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 Misérables and Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre Dame).

Hugo was born in this building in 1802. Today its three floors are filled with modern displays, led by audioguide commentary (in French, German or English): an interactive map of Besançon, a tiddly library of Hugo's works translated into various languages, and screenings of an hour-long film.

The museum also brings Hugo into the 21st century by joining the dots between the novelist's activism and modern-day struggles for social justice.