the rare Bald Ibis, Australian rock wallabies, Moroccan goats, lions and tigers!, lemur of all sorts of types, baboons and monkeys....
Good info boards including info on where the creature has originated from
Museum of the Resistance and Deportation
A poignant witness to this period of history
20 rooms spread over two floors examine, with the help of photographs,
writings, documents and original objects, themes linked to the
second world war; Nazism and its origins, the war and
the Vichy regime, the deportation, the resistance in
Franche-Comté, in France, Europe-wide and the Liberation.
Plan to spend one to two full days here.
Besançon is a great destination for hikers. The old city is actually on the edge of the town, and there is an easy circular hiking trail round the loop of the river Doubs, taking you through a 19th century canal tunnel beneath the Citadelle. From there, you can get out easily onto some great out-of town hiking trails, well signposted by the city council and the neighbouring authorities. A two hour hike takes you to the top of the Montfaucon mountain, three hundred metres above the valley; from here on a fine day you can see up to 100 miles in all directions, as far as Mont Blanc, the Vosges, and the hills of Burgundy.
There are several nice fountains in Besançon, one on the Jean Cornet Square. The fountain was build in 1900 and replaced another fountain that was destroyed. The text "Utinam" which you find under the fronton is the motto of the town, also found as "Plût à Dieu" on other buildings.
Another nice fountain is on the Place de la Révolution.
The Museum of Time is located in the Granvelle palace, which was build in the 16th century.
It's showing some nice clocks from different times and there are exhibitions about other things that have something to do with time (for example heart pacemaker), but unfortunately all information is in French only. Also there's so much space, but it appeared to be pretty empty. And I didn't like the dark atmosphere... Nice were the hands-on exhibitions (they finally had multi-language explanations!) where you could experiment something. Altogether it was not so interesting as I expected.
Admission: adults 5 €, reduced (Saturday and with passport inter-museée) 2,50 €. Free on Sundays and for students and +60 years old..
The admission allows you to also visit the Musée des Beaux-Arts et d'Archéologie
Open daily except Monday and a few holidays from 9:15 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 18:00, Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00.
The citadel was designed by Vauban for Louis XIV and was build between 1674 and 1711. I have to admit that I hadn't heard the name Vauban before, but suddenly I came across it pretty often. The citadel together with some other Vauban fortifications were recently added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The citadel today houses several museums - the Musuem of the Resistance and the Deoportation, Franche-Comté Museum, insectarium, ecological aquarium, noctarium and musuem of natural history. I assume you'll need to spend quite a lot of time there to visit it all!
Admission: adults 7,20 € or 7,80 €, depending on season.
The opening times vary in the different months, please check their homepage. Museums closed on Tuesdays.
On the Square Castan you'll find archeological remains from the Roman times. It is named after the archeologist who started excations there in1870. Earlier, there had been the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church. Today you will here see some Roman-Corinth columns and a semi-circular place which presumably has been a Roman theatre. There's an information plate at the place with information in French, English and German.
In some courtyards, you'll find staircases, outside the building, to save space. It's not easy to find them unless you know where to look. Also often the courtyards are behind a door and we weren't sure if we can enter it nevertheless. But we found one which easily can be viewed as the courtyard is open, it's in street "Rue des Granges", house number 75.
Here's a list of other houses that were mentioned in a guide about the Besançon:
Rue des Granges: number 16, 17, 21, 75
Grande Rue: number 53, 76, 103, 108
The cathedral was build in the 12th century and was rebuild several times throughout the times. The entrance to the cathedral is on the north side, and on the west side you will find the entrance to the Astronomical Clock. The church can be visited for free, but for the Astronomical Clock there are guided tours to visit it.
The citadel was built for Louis XIV between 1688 & 1711. It sits at the top of Rue des Fusilles and is very well preserved. You can reach it through a delightful ilttle park - a great place for children to run off a bit of steam.
Inside the 15-20m thick walls there are 3 museums : Musee Comtois (local culture), Musee d'Histoire Naturelle (Natural history) & Musee de la Resistance et de la Deportation (examines the rise of Nazism, fascism & the French Resistance).
There's an insectarium, aquarium & noctarium in the parc zoologique.
Cathedrale St. Jean is predominantly 18th cntury. It sits just below the citadel on Rue de la Convention and houses the Horloge Astronomique (clock) which has 300 moving parts inside it.
There are 7 guided tours, daily. We opened a door and went inside... not realising that we were actually sneaking in because we were not on one of these tours and neither had we paid!
Another city, another Numpty Train.... with the children getting a little tired of being walked around... the ride was inevitable.
I did not enjoy this ride. Besancon has a large student population and where ever we went in the Numpty Train we were smirked at!!! And the driver was miserable!
The only good thing on our humiliating ride up to the citadel was that we got to sit down whilst the little train took the strain uphill instead of our weary legs!
The kids LOVED it...it was shaped like a snake!
Musee Des Beaux-Arts Et D'Archeologie
Musee Des Beaux-Arts Et D'Archeologie features both archaeological and fine art exhibits. Prehistoric and egyptian collections are here, as are paintings, drawings, and sculptures.
Address: 1 place de la Révolution Besancon FR 25000
33 0 3 81 87 80 49
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum has numerous exhibits and collections. An insectarium is located here, with both displays and a section devoted to research, as are an aquarium, a noctarium devoted to nocturnal animals, and a six acre zoological park. The museum also features sections devoted to astronomy and meterology.
Address: La Citadelle, Rue des Fusillés Besancon FR 25000
Musee Comtois is an ethnographic museum that focuses on popular arts and crafts from the region, as well as the rapidly changing rural culture and habits of the residents. Among the permanent exhibits are areas devoted to weaving and spinning, ceramics, religious beliefs, furniture and children's toys, agriculture, and foundry.
Address: La Citadelle Besancon FR 25000
Well because i was working i only really went out at night to pophall (it could be pop holl) and the pub next door to it. when i was there there was a history of time museum which was quite boring. the citeadel is verry nice along with the zoo which is on top of the hill.
there is also a nice cafe bar which sometimes have bands play i thinkits called igy's
The Doubs springs up at Mouthe (alt. 937 m). At times, it flows through lush limestone gorges, at times, it lingers through plains and meanders. It forms lakes Saint-Point and Chaillexon as well..
The loop it forms around the city of Besançon is very famous and therefore the river was very important for the founding of the city (see Citadel and overview page). For many centuries Pont de Battant (replacing the old Roman stone bridge which was part of the road connecting Italy with the Rhine Provinces) was the only bridge over the Doubs in Besançon.
The superb architectural sweep of the Quai Vauban punctuated by the arcades of the 17th century houses.
At Villers-le-Lac, the Doubs spreads out in large pools and soon turns into an impressive 27 meters waterfall, called Saut du Doubs (the Doubs Sault). Boat cruises are available from Villers-le-Lac.
The river gave its name to the Doubs department and makes its mark along its course. Its name (Doubs) originates in the Latin word "Dubius" meaning "doubtful". To achieve a distance of 90 km from its source to the point where it flows into the Saône river, it changes direction three times and flows 430 km with 190 km of navigable waterways.