"Hidden treasures of Besançon in Franche-Comté" Top 5 Page for this destination Besançon by Loeffle

Besançon Travel Guide: 134 reviews and 417 photos

Capital of France-Comté

The origins of Besançon go back to Roman Age. It's strategic location on the loops of the Doubs River was already discovered by Romans. But the region was only in Roman hands for a couple of centuries before native tribes took over. But nevertheless there's even some Roman architecture left in Besançon.

Throughout history the town (as the whole region) was an important border bastion in the East of France. But actually the town became Spanish for some decades. Until the 19th century there was only one bridge over the Doubs river.

Until that time only the inner part of the Doubs peninsula was settled. The parts closer to water were swamplands. Vauban who built the French Eastern defence in the 17th and 18th century choose the rocky hill as location for one of his masterpiece fortifications: the Besançon Citadel.

Vauban is gone, German-French border wars are gone, but the Citadel is still there, and definetely Besançon's main attraction. It has been restored to a remarkably high standard and hosts almost ten museums and exhibtions.

Besides Besançon is a lively university town with some 120,000 inhabitants with some nice hidden treasures. Might be a good place to visit in combination with Belfort and Dijon, both towns are less than an hour away.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:charming old town, lovely located, wonderful citadel
  • Cons:pickpocket, very warm in summer, traffic in downtown
  • In a nutshell:must see stop in Franche-Comté
  • Last visit to Besançon: Jun 2003
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (15)

Comments (6)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Jan 17, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    The Citadel looks great!

  • fabrice's Profile Photo
    Jun 2, 2010 at 1:16 AM

    a very beautiful city

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Feb 5, 2010 at 3:11 PM

    Nice page!

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Jul 18, 2009 at 3:51 PM

    The pictures and comments are very good and helps me understand this area. I read about it and was interested of the Gauls against Caesar

  • AndreSTGT's Profile Photo
    Jul 7, 2003 at 8:17 AM

    Excellent page!!! Besancon is a very beautiful, but undervisited city. Fête de la Musique sounds great. I was in Strasbourg for the Fête this year.

  • Anjutka's Profile Photo
    Jun 27, 2003 at 7:42 AM

    Deep in history??? I like such ancient sights very much..it' s romantical..the view is just great...:))) Good luck with all...


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