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Besancon

Culture of Besancon. Places to visit - old town, temples, theaters, museums and palaces

Besancon is a city with a rich history that never ceases to amaze its guests with unique historical monuments, beautiful architectural landmarks, and numerous museums. One of the most important symbols of the city is located not far from its center. This is the Black Gate, an ancient arc built in the 2nd century. This architectural landmark was constructed in the memory of an important historical event – the victory of the Romans over the Gauls. Nowadays, the ancient arc is built into the neighbor house, and the resulting architectural landmark looks very impressive.
Mercure Besancon Parc Micaud is ideal for an unforgettable honeymoon or wedding celebration. It's located close to the picturesque Micaud Park and occupies a spectacular modern building. … Open
The Saint Jean Church, the building of which took place in the 18th century, is located nearby. This religious landmark has become widely popular because of the astronomic watch. Many tourists visit the church only with one purpose – to see the unusual watch. Continue your acquaintance with the history of watchmaking during an excursion to the Palais Granvelle. Nowadays, the beautiful historical palace hosts the exhibition of the Museum of Time. The interesting place is worth visiting and exploring the items exhibited.
There is one more amazing historical landmark nearby – the house, in which Victor Hugo was born and spent his childhood. Fans of art will find it interesting to attend the Museum of Fine Arts, the opening of which took place in 1970. This museum is open in the building of the former granary. Nowadays, the spacious halls of the building exhibit masterpieces by Goya, Courbet, and Ingres, as well as other famous painters. A walk in the city will also leave many pleasant memories – Besancon is rich in old mansions, beautiful parks, and squares. Battant and Boucle quarters are the most interesting destinations for tourists. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
In Besançon there're shops and shopping pavilions for every taste. Chateaufarine is the largest shopping center in the city. 70 shops offering men's and women's clothes, as well as goods … Open
When it comes to describing religious landmarks of the city, it is important to mention Saint Pierre Church that never ceases to amaze tourists with its excellent architectural style and fabulous interior design. The building of Dodane factory is a beautiful landmark that dates back to the 20th century – the construction works took place from 1938 to 1944. The design of the watch factory was developed by Auguste Perret. Each work of this famous architect is a unique and outstanding masterpiece. Tourists will have an opportunity to enjoy the city from a bird’s eye view. For this purpose, simply make an excursion to the ancient citadel that is located on one of the high hills. There is a spacious observation deck that offers stunning and very detailed views of Besancon. A part of the citadel was transformed into a historical museum that exhibits hundreds of rare artifacts.
The Museum of Fine Arts and Archeology deserves closer attention as it is the oldest public museum in whole France. It was open in 1694; the most famous museum in France, Louvre, became a public museum almost one century later. The collection of the museum is divided into three categories, namely, painting, archaeology, and drawing cabinet. The collection of paintings includes European masters from the 14th to the 20th centuries. The exhibition is divided into regions. Italian masters are represented by Titian, Bellini, Giuseppe Recco, Tintoret, Bronzino, and many other famous painters. Spain – by Zurbaran, Goya; Northern Europe is represented by many talented artists, including Jan Brueghel, Jacob Jordaens, Rubens, Lucas Cranach, etc. The French collection is the biggest and includes works by Matise, Renoir, Fragonard, Bonnard, Boucher, and many more.
Ancient city Besancon is considered the historical capital of the Franche-Comté region. This is the motherland of such outstanding scientists and people of art as Lumiere brothers, Victor … Open
The archaeological unit includes many findings that date back to the Neolithic, Bronze Age, and Iron Age; ancient Egyptian mummies, Roman mosaics, and various medieval relics. The drawing cabinet exhibits more than 5,500 works of famous European painters from the 16th to the 20th centuries. The Museum of Natural History is ideal for tourists with children. Open on the basis of the University of Franche-Comte, it features the largest insectarium in France, an aquarium, a zoo, and a noctarium where visitors can watch nocturnal mammals. There is also a children’s farm where young guests can get acquainted with domestic animals.
Basilique of Saint-Ferjeux is of high architectural value. The cathedral was built at the junction of the 19th-20th centuries in an unusual Roman-Byzantine style, which makes the church unique from an architectural point of view. Pleasing to the eyes is its front facade, which is supported by two impressive towers. The church also has an interesting interior – a stunning organ, paintings on the wall, stained glass windows, only give charm to this place. There is also a synagogue in Besançon. It was built in the year 1870, and is of great interest not only for Judaists. Another beautiful religious monument bears the name Église Sainte-Madeleine. The building is famous for its excellent acoustics. Of the other churches, you will find the Chapelle Notre-Dame du Refuge, built in the 18th century, interesting.
Besancon will be interesting to visit for those who during leisure, like to combine walks in picturesque places, active entertainment and acquaintance with cultural attractions. For young … Open
Place du Huit-Septembre is a nice place for a walk, where you can enjoy looking at interesting houses (sometimes called Place de Saint-Pierre, since St. Peter’s Church is situated on its territory). This place was once the most popular meeting place for locals. The area is notable for the fact that there is Roman influence in the architectural style of the buildings. It is also interesting to take a walk along the Place de la Révolution especially in the evening, when the fountains are beautifully lit. There are many restaurants and cafes around, where you can meet the needs of the stomach after satisfying your soul.
Besançon Those who like to consider fortifications will also enjoy Victor Hugo’s hometown, thus getting acquainted with the military history. Here there are several defensive buildings that at various times served the city faithfully and truly. Fort de Bregille was built at the end of the 19th century and is famous for its beautiful panoramic views that open up from it. Fort de Chaudanne was erected in 1841. It is impossible to get here, but you can have a picnic nearby. The construction time of Fort de Beauregard is 1831, after which it was improved; it also offers great views of the city.
Besancon will pleasantly surprise culinary experts with a choice of restaurants, bars, and cafes. It is easy to find dining venues specializing in different cuisines of the world in the … Open
Palais de Justice de Besancon, which was built in 1585 based on Huggs Sambin’s project in the Renaissance style, is another building that cannot be missed. In general, almost the entire street (Rue du Palais de Justice) is occupied by government institutions. The Cour d'Appel de Besançon, the Greffe du Tribunal de Commerce and the Hôtel de ville de Besançon are located here. All of them only beautify the street, confirming that in France even a government street can be quite romantic. It is also worth mentioning Quai Vauban. It is very pleasant to stroll here, breathing in the fresh sea air, feeling the serenity and enjoying the unsurpassed beauty of the buildings framing the embankment.
In the section below, you can get one of our excursion, activities or city discovery tours over Besancon and surroundings. Our website offers 10-30% lower ticket prices, when compared to the offline purchase on the spot.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Besancon and surroundings

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Reference information
Map of all art museums
Art galleries in Besancon and around
♥   Art museum 'Musée des Beaux-Arts et d archéologie' Besançon, 1.3 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all churches
Cathedrals and basilicas near Besancon
♥   Basilique Notre-Dame de Dole, Dole, 44.3 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Chapelle de Notre-Dame du Haut, Ronchamp, 67.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Basilique Saint-Pierre, Luxeuil-les-Bains, 68.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Cathédrale Saint-Mammès, Langres, 86.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Car rental on OrangeSmile.com Rentals in Besancon

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Photogallery of cultural heritage of Besancon

Landmarks of culture on Besancon map: art-galleries, monuments, palaces, etc

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Excursions over cultural sights of neighbours of Besancon

Culture guide to Besancon. Which fascinating sights to visit once you are in Besancon: temples, churches, museums, theaters and castles. Recommendations (with addresses, phone numbers and links) on the places 'must visit' in Besancon. Plan your own city excursion by using this page info!
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