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Besançon, known as the greenest city in France, is the capital and principal city of the Franche-Comté région of northeastern France. It is the préfecture (capital) of the Doubs département and was the centre of the French watch making industry.
Besancon (Doubs) mini guide
Besancon is famous for its micro-technology and watch industries and is located on a loop of Doubs River at foot of Jura Mountains in eastern France. Besancon is the capital of the Franche-Comte region and is as a great base for walking in the northern stretches of the Jura mountains.
Besançon is all lush forests, streams and Swiss-influenced architecture. Climb the Citadel, which was built by the great military architect Vauban, as this offers superb views of the river Doubs, the surrounding hills and the city's beautiful blue-beige buildings. Down below, on Besançon's Grande Rue and beyond, the hotel gives way to hidden courtyards.
Once a major centre of French clock-making, today's industry seems to be centred largely on precision engineering, Besançon was also the birthplace of artificial silk – or rayon – in 1890. It counts among its native sons both the pioneering Lumière brothers and epic novelist Victor Hugo.
The old town features architecture from 16th to 18th centuries, the cathedral and the remarkable astronomical clock, also signs of Roman life still remain. The 17th century citadel looms over old town and now houses several museums and a zoo. There is also a Museum of Fine Arts and Archaeology.
The principal street, Grande-Rue, cuts across the square along the line of an old Roman road. At its north western end, the livelier part of town with shops and cafés is the place de la Révolution and the excellent Musée des Beaux-Arts, with some good nineteenth and twentieth century works, two magnificent Bonnards and a wonderful clock collection.
Midway down Grande-Rue, the fine sixteenth century Palais Granvelle contains an interactive museum paying homage to the town's history of clock making, the Musée du Temps. Continuing up the street, you pass place Victor-Hugo (he was born at no. 140) and arrive at the Porte Noire, a second-century Roman triumphal arch spanning the street and partially embedded in the adjoining houses.
Other interesting places to visit are St. John's Cathedral (XII, XIII, eighteenth century), Carmelite convent courtyard surrounded by arcades (1685), Church St. Pierre (1782), Church St (1712), Church of Our Lady (eleventh and eighteenth century) and Eglise Ste Madeleine (1766).
|Department:||North East France > Franche Comte > Doubs >|
|Location:||Besançon is located in the north-east quarter of France on the Doubs River. It is about 325 km (215 mi) east of the national capital of Paris, 100 km (60 mi) east of Dijon in Burgundy, 125 km (75 mi) northwest of Lausanne in Switzerland and 100 km (60 mi|
The gare SNCF is at the end of avenue Maréchal-Foch, while the gare routière is at 9 rue Proudhon off rue de la République; buses for Pontarlier and Ornans leave from here. The best way to reach the town centre from the train station is to take the underground passage (next to the monument in front of the station) and cut across the park down to the quais – the old town is on the other side of the river.
In September 2000, the SNCF, a Region, a Department and a Metropolitan area (a Town and a District at the time) joined forces for the first time in France to create a unique service to provide full information on bus, coach and train connections.
|Tourist information website:||www.besancon-tourisme.com|
|Tourist information contact email:||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Tourist information switch board number:||33 (0) 3 81 80 92 55|
|Tourist information address:||Besancon Tourist Office, 2, place de la 1re Armée Française, 25000 BESANÇONPhone|
|Quick links to accommodation:||Accommodation near Besancon (Doubs) - Hotels in Besancon (Doubs)|