The Info List - Besançon

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries. 2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

(French and Arpitan: French pronunciation: [bəzɑ̃sɔ̃] ( listen); archaic German: Bisanz, Latin: Vesontio) is the capital of the department of Doubs
in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. The city is located in Eastern France, close to the Jura Mountains
Jura Mountains
and the border with Switzerland. Capital of the historic and cultural region of Franche-Comté, Besançon
is home to the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté regional council headquarters, and is an important administrative centre in the region. In 2015 the city had a population of 116,676, in a metropolitan area of 250,563. Once proclaimed the first green city of France, it has been labeled a "Town of Art and History" since 1986.[1] Since 2008, the Citadel of Besançon
and the fortifications of the city have been listed as a UNESCO
World Heritage Site. Besançon
is also home to the University of Franche-Comté, founded in 1423.


1 History

1.1 Toponymy 1.2 Ancient history 1.3 Middle Ages 1.4 Renaissance 1.5 Modern Europe

2 Geography

2.1 Location 2.2 Topography 2.3 Climate 2.4 Districts 2.5 Parks and gardens

3 Population 4 Government and politics 5 Economy 6 Education 7 Culture

7.1 Sites of interest

7.1.1 Other institutions 7.1.2 Performing arts centers

7.2 Annual cultural events and fairs 7.3 Sports

8 Transport

8.1 Road 8.2 Air 8.3 Rail 8.4 Tram 8.5 Bus

9 Births 10 Literary references 11 International relations

11.1 Twin towns – sister cities

12 See also 13 References 14 Bibliography 15 External links

History[edit] See also: Timeline of Besançon Toponymy[edit] The city is first recorded in 58 BC as Vesontio in the Book I of Julius Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico. The etymology of Vesontio is uncertain. The most common explanation is that the name is of Celtic origin, derived from wes, meaning 'mountain'. During the 4th century, the letter B took the place of the V, and the city name changed to Besontio or Bisontion and then underwent several transformations to become Besançon
in 1243.

The Doubs
and the Quai Vauban
seen from the Pont Battant.

Ancient history[edit] The city sits within an oxbow of the Doubs River
Doubs River
(a tributary of the Saône
River); a mountain closes the fourth side. During the Bronze Age, c.1500 BCE, tribes of Gauls settled the oxbow. From the 1st century BC through the modern era, the town had a significant military importance because the Alps
rise abruptly to its immediate south, presenting a significant natural barrier. The Arar (Saône) River formed part of the border between the Haedui and their hereditary rivals, the Sequani.[2] According to Strabo, the cause of the conflict was commercial.[3] Each tribe claimed the Arar and the tolls on trade along it. The Sequani
controlled access to the Rhine River
Rhine River
and had built an oppidum (a fortified town) at Vesontio to protect their interests. The Sequani
defeated and massacred the Haedui at the Battle of Magetobriga, with the help of the Arverni
tribe and the Germanic Suebi
tribe under the Germanic king Ariovistus. Julius Caesar, in his commentaries detailing his conquest of Gaul, describes Vesontio (possibly Latinized), as the largest town of the Sequani, a smaller Gaulic tribe, and mentions that a wooden palisade surrounded it. Over the centuries, the name permutated to become Besantio, Besontion, Bisanz in Middle High German
Middle High German
and gradually arrived at the modern French Besançon. The locals retain their ancient heritage referring to themselves as Bisontins (feminine: Bisontine). It has been an archbishopric since the 4th century. Middle Ages[edit]

Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor
inherited the city and made it part of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
in 1032.

In 843, the Treaty of Verdun
Treaty of Verdun
divided up Charlemagne's empire. Besançon
became part of Lotharingia, under the Duke of Burgundy. As part of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
since 1034, the city became an archbishopric, and was designated the Free Imperial City of Besançon (an autonomous city-state under the Holy Roman Emperor) in 1184. In 1157, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa
Frederick Barbarossa
held the Diet of Besançon. There, Cardinal Orlando Bandinelli
Orlando Bandinelli
(the future Pope Alexander III, then adviser of Pope Adrian IV) openly asserted before the Emperor that the imperial dignity was a papal beneficium (in the more general sense of favour, not the strict feudal sense of fief), which incurred the wrath of the German princes. He would have fallen on the spot under the battle-axe of his lifelong foe, Otto of Wittelsbach, had Frederick not intervened. The Imperial Chancellor Rainald of Dassel
Rainald of Dassel
then inaugurated a German policy that insisted upon the rights and the power of the German kings, the strengthening of the Church in the German Empire, the lordship of Italy
and the humiliation of the Papacy. The Archbishops were elevated to Princes of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
in 1288. The close connection to the Empire is reflected in the city's coat of arms. In 1290, after a century of fighting against the power of the archbishops, the Emperor granted Besançon
its independence. Renaissance[edit] In the 15th century, Besançon
came under the influence of the dukes of Burgundy. After the marriage of Mary of Burgundy
to Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, the city was in effect a Habsburg
fief. In 1519 Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Spain, became the Holy Roman Emperor. This made him master of the Franche-Comté
and Besançon, a francophone imperial city. In 1526 the city obtained the right to mint coins, which it continued to strike until 1673. Nevertheless, all coins bore the name of Charles V. When Charles V abdicated in 1555, he gave the Franche-Comté
to his son, Philip II, King of Spain. Besançon
remained a free imperial city under the protection of the King of Spain. In 1598, Philip II gave the province to his daughter on her marriage to an Austrian archduke. It remained formally a portion of the Empire until its cession at the peace of Westphalia in 1648. Spain regained control of Franche-Comté and the city lost its status as a free city. Then in 1667, Louis XIV claimed the province as a consequence of his marriage to Marie-Thérèse of Spain in the War of Devolution. Louis conquered the city for the first time in 1668, but the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle returned it to Spain within a matter of months. While it was in French hands, the famed military engineer Vauban
visited the city and drew up plans for its fortification. The Spaniards built the main centre point of the city's defences, "la Citadelle", siting it on Mont Saint-Étienne, which closes the neck of the oxbow that is the site of the original town. In their construction, the Spaniards followed Vauban's designs. In 1674, French troops recaptured the city, which the Treaty of Nijmegen (1678) then awarded to France. At this time the city became the administrative centre for the Franche-Comté, with its own Parlement of Besançon, which replaced Dole.

The Citadel of Besançon
Citadel of Besançon
by Vauban

As a result of control passing to France, Vauban
returned to working on the citadel's fortifications, and those of the city. This process lasted until 1711, some 30 years, and the walls built then surround the city. Between the train station and the central city there is a complex moat system that now serves road traffic. Numerous forts, some of which date back to that time and that incorporate Vauban's designs elements sit on the six hills that surround the city: Fort de Trois Châtels, Fort Chaudanne, Fort du Petit Chaudanne, Fort Griffon, Fort des Justices, Fort de Beauregard and Fort de Brégille. The citadel itself has two dry moats, with an outer and inner court. In the evenings, the illuminated Citadelle stands above the city as a landmark and a testament to Vauban's genius as a military engineer. Modern Europe[edit] In 1814 the Austrians invaded and bombarded the city. It also occupied an important position during the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
of 1870–71. The Nazis occupied the citadel during World War II. Between 1940 and 1944, the Germans executed some one hundred French resistance
French resistance
fighters there. However, Besançon
saw little action during the war. The allies bombed the railway complex in 1943, and the next year the Germans resisted the U.S. advance for four days. Besançon
was also the location, between 1940 and 1941, of an Internment Camp (Konzentrationslager), Frontstalag 142, also known as Caserne Vauban, which the Germans set up for 3-4,000 holders of British passports, all women and children. The conditions were harsh; many hundreds of internees died of pneumonia, diarrhea, food poisoning, dysentery, and frostbite.[4] In 1959, the French Army turned the citadel over to the city of Besançon, which turned it into a museum. The forts of Brégille and Beauregard sit across the Doubs
from the city. In 1913, a private company built a funicular to the Brégille Heights. The funicular passed from private ownership to the SNCF, who finally closed it in 1987. The funicular's tracks, stations and even road signs remain in place to this day. Geography[edit]

Site of Besançon
(Landsat 7)

seen by Spot Satellite

Location[edit] Besançon
is located in the north-east quarter of France
on the Doubs River. It is about 325 kilometres (202 miles) east of the national capital of Paris, 100 kilometres (62 miles) east of Dijon
in Burgundy, 125 km (78 mi) northwest of Lausanne
in Switzerland, and 100 km (62 mi) southwest of Belfort
in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. It is located at the edge of the Jura Mountains. Topography[edit] The city initially developed in a natural meander (or oxbow loop) of the Doubs River
Doubs River
with a diameter of almost 1,000 metres (3,281 feet). The flat inner loop has an elevation of about 250 metres (820 feet), and is bounded to the south by a hill called Mont Saint-Étienne, which has a maximum height of 371 metres (1,217 feet). The city is surrounded by six other hills which range in elevation from 400 to 500 metres (1,312 to 1,640 feet): Brégille, Griffon, Planoise, Chaudanne, Montfaucon, and Montboucon. (There is a barge canal that cuts through rock under Mont Saint-Étienne, short-cutting the meander.) Climate[edit] Besançon
is under the influence of both an oceanic climate (notable precipitations in quantity as much as in frequency) and a continental climate with hard winters (snow, frost) and warm and dry summers. The year-round average is 11.5 °C (53 °F). The warmest month is July 20 °C (68 °F) and the coldest is January 2.1 °C (36 °F). Besançon
receives about 1,059 mm (42 in) of precipitation per year. The wettest month is May (108.4 mm (4.3 in)); the driest is August (76.9 mm (3.0 in)). The highest temperature ever, recorded on 28 July 1921, was 40.3 °C (104.5 °F), and the lowest was a −20.7 °C (−5.3 °F) reached on 1 January 1985.

Climate data for Besançon
(1981–2010 averages)

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Record high °C (°F) 16.8 (62.2) 21.7 (71.1) 24.8 (76.6) 29.1 (84.4) 32.2 (90) 35.2 (95.4) 40.3 (104.5) 38.3 (100.9) 34.6 (94.3) 30.1 (86.2) 23.0 (73.4) 20.8 (69.4) 40.3 (104.5)

Average high °C (°F) 5.2 (41.4) 7.0 (44.6) 11.4 (52.5) 15.2 (59.4) 19.5 (67.1) 22.8 (73) 25.3 (77.5) 25.0 (77) 20.7 (69.3) 16.0 (60.8) 9.5 (49.1) 5.7 (42.3) 15.3 (59.5)

Average low °C (°F) −0.7 (30.7) −0.2 (31.6) 2.7 (36.9) 5.2 (41.4) 9.3 (48.7) 12.4 (54.3) 14.5 (58.1) 14.1 (57.4) 10.9 (51.6) 7.6 (45.7) 2.9 (37.2) 0.4 (32.7) 6.6 (43.9)

Record low °C (°F) −20.7 (−5.3) −20.6 (−5.1) −14.0 (6.8) −5.2 (22.6) −2.4 (27.7) 2.1 (35.8) 4.5 (40.1) 3.4 (38.1) −0.1 (31.8) −6.1 (21) −11.3 (11.7) −19.3 (−2.7) −20.7 (−5.3)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 86.3 (3.398) 79.7 (3.138) 92.0 (3.622) 94.2 (3.709) 114.8 (4.52) 101.5 (3.996) 90.0 (3.543) 91.9 (3.618) 107.2 (4.22) 115.7 (4.555) 104.5 (4.114) 109.2 (4.299) 1,187 (46.732)

Average precipitation days 13.0 11.6 12.1 11.5 13.4 11.1 10.2 10.0 9.8 12.5 12.6 13.4 141.0

Average relative humidity (%) 87 82 77 74 77 77 75 78 82 87 87 88 80.9

Mean monthly sunshine hours 75.1 95.5 142.1 176.1 206.6 230.4 244.1 232.3 175.8 132.6 72.7 53.0 1,836.4

Source #1: Météo France[5][6]

Source #2: Infoclimat.fr (humidity, 1961–1990)[7]


Courtyard of the former city hall

The 14 Besançon

Centre – Chapelle des Buis Velotte Butte – Grette Battant Chaprais – Cras Bregille Saint-Ferjeux – Rosemont

Montboucons – Montrapon Saint-Claude – Torcols Palente – Orchamps – Saragosse Vaites – Clairs-Soleils Planoise
– Châteaufarine Tilleroyes Chailluz

Centre (the buckleet and Saint-Jean) – Chapelle des Buis Battant Bregille Vaites – Clairs-Soleils Velotte Butte – Grette Chaprais – Cras Palente – Orchamps – Combe Saragosse Tilleroyes Montrapon – Montboucons – Fontaine-écu Planoise
– Châteaufarine Saint-Claude – Torcols Saint-Ferjeux – Rosemont Chailluz

Parks and gardens[edit]

Jardin botanique de Besançon Parc Micaud Parc de la Gare d'Eau Parc de la Citadelle Promenade Granvelle Promenade Chamars

Population[edit] As of the French Census of 2015, the population of the City of Besançon
was 116,676, lower than the historical peak of 120,315 in 1975. Grand Besançon
covers 431.3 km2 (166.5 sq mi), 69 municipalities and has a population of 192,816. The metropolitan area covers 1,652 km2 (638 sq mi), 256 municipalities and has 250,563 inhabitants. It is the 42nd of France, and it increased by 2.5% between 2010 and 2015.

Historical population

Year Pop. ±%

1800 28,436 —    

1836 29,718 +4.5%

1841 36,461 +22.7%

1861 46,786 +28.3%

1876 54,404 +16.3%

Year Pop. ±%

1896 57,556 +5.8%

1911 57,978 +0.7%

1921 55,652 −4.0%

1936 65,022 +16.8%

1946 63,508 −2.3%

Year Pop. ±%

1954 73,445 +15.6%

1962 95,642 +30.2%

1968 113,220 +18.4%

1975 120,315 +6.3%

1982 113,283 −5.8%

Year Pop. ±%

1990 113,828 +0.5%

1999 117,733 +3.4%

2008 117,599 −0.1%

2015 116,676 −0.8%

Source:[citation needed]

Government and politics[edit] Until 2016, Besançon
was the capital of the Franche-Comté administrative région of France, a région including the four départements of Doubs, Haute-Saône, Jura and Territoire de Belfort. Franche-Comté
was since merged with the neighbouring region of Burgundy, and the "préfecture" was transferred to the city of Dijon. However, Besançon
remains the seat of the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté regional council and of various decentralised administrations such as the regional offices of the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) or the University of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. Mayor of the City of Besançon
is Jean-Louis Fousseret. Economy[edit] The city is famous for its microtechnology and watch industries. It is host of the biannual Micronora trade fair, one of Europe's major events in the field of microtechnologies. The city has a little-known specialty, automatic ticketing machines for car parking, airports, date stamping etc. The watch industry, for which Besançon
remains the French capital, endured a major crisis in the 1970s when the advent of quartz watches from Asia knocked out the traditional watch industry in the space of just a few years. The famous "Lip" affair epitomizes the industrial crisis. LIP is to this day the name of one of Besançon's most prestigious brands of watches. Refusing to let their factory close, the workers set up a cooperative to run it. The action produced a lot of notoriety and sympathy for the workers but also resulted in branding Besançon
as a city of the radical left. It also did nothing to help revive the watch industry; the cooperative went out of business a short while later. The city took a long time to recover from the collapse of the watch industry and its other major industry of the industrial age, artificial textiles. Since the 1980s, Besançon's watch industry has clawed its way back on the basis of its historic reputation and quartz watches, establishing itself in a number of niche markets including customized watches, high quality watches, and fashion articles. Since the 1990s, the town has developed a reputation as one of France's leading centres of technology in all fields, including telecommunications and biotechnology. Education[edit] Besançon
is the seat of the Université de Franche-Comté. As of 2006[update], there were approximately 20,000 students enrolled at the university, including around 3,000 foreign students. The Institut Supérieur d'Ingénieurs de Franche-Comté[8] (ISIFC), part of the Université de Franche-Comté, is the first school created in the country specifically for the Biomedical engineering
Biomedical engineering
field. The city is also home of the École Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique et des Microtechniques (ENSMM), a technological school with a strong reputation in the fields of microtechnology and mechanics and the worldwide famous Centre for Applied Linguistics which teaches ten languages to non-native speakers (French, Arabic, Chinese, English, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish) and any other known language on request and which welcomes more than 4,000 students every year from all over the world. Culture[edit]

Fountain on the Place Jean-Cornet

General view of the Old city

Sites of interest[edit]

Interior of St. Jean Cathedral in Besançon

General view of Vauban's Citadel.

Typical products of the region

The Porte Noire, Roman triumphal arch

Detail of the multicolored stone from Chailluz quarry, used in many of the buildings

The city has one of the most beautiful historic centers of any major town in France. A broad horse-shoe of the river Doubs, "la Boucle", encircles the old town, while Vauban's imposing Citadelle blocks off the neck. The historic center presents a remarkable ensemble of classic stone buildings, some dating back to the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
and others to the Spanish Renaissance. Among its most visited historic monuments are:

several Roman remains, the 16th-century Palais Granvelle, Vauban's citadel (Citadel of Besançon) the Cathedral of St. Jean, several Spanish Renaissance-style buildings the Église de la Madeleine, and the river frontage.

The Roman remains consist primarily of the Porte Noire, a 2nd-century CE triumphal arch at the foot of the hill on which the citadel stands, and the Square Castan, a semi-circular amphitheater. The Porte Noire may commemorate the victories of Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
over the Germans in 167 CE. It was partly rebuilt in 1820. From 1534 to 1540, Cardinal Granvelle, chancellor to the Habsburg emperor Charles V, built the Palais Granvelle, in the heart of the town.[9][10] It consists of arcades that surround an interior court, and is the most interesting of the secular buildings. The Palais contains a set of seven wool and silk blend tapestries from Bruges that were woven circa 1635 and that celebrate seven milestones in Charles V's life. These tapestries remained in Spain until 1888, when they were transferred to France. In 1950 they were transferred to the Palais. UNESCO
added the citadel, the city walls and Fort Griffon to its list of World Heritage Sites
World Heritage Sites
in 2008, as part of the "Fortifications of Vauban" group. Some older military architecture has also survived. There is a cylindrical, 15th-century tower near the Porte Notre-Dame, the southern gate of the city. The Porte Rivotte, a 16th-century gate, has two round towers. The citadel houses the Museum of the French Resistance and Deportation. The Cathedral, which dates largely from the 12th century[11] though construction continued into the 14th century, contains the most remarkable of the city's masterpieces, a massive Virgin and saints altarpiece by the Italian Renaissance painter Fra Bartolomeo. It also houses a noteworthy 19th-century astronomical clock. The Cathedral has two apses, with the eastern apse and the tower dating from the reign of Louis XV. Attractive quays border the old city, and in places there are shady promenades. On the right bank there is a bathing establishment in the Mouillere quarter that draws its water from the saline springs of Miserey-Salines. Besançon
also has one of the finest city art galleries in France outside Paris. The Museum of Fine Arts and Archeology has a collection whose origins date to 1694, and which a remarkable series of bequests have augmented over time. In the 1960s the architect Luis Miquel, a pupil of Le Corbusier, totally rebuilt the building. The building's interior takes the form of a gently rising concrete walkway that takes visitors up from classical antiquity to the modern age. Among the museum's treasures are a fine collection of classical antiquities and ancient Egyptian artifacts, as well as a very rich collection of paintings including works by Bellini, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Titian, Rubens, Jordaens, Ruisdael, Cranach, Zurbarán, Goya, Philippe de Champaigne, Fragonard, Boucher, David, Ingres, Géricault, Courbet, Constable, Bonnard, Matisse, Picasso
and many others.

Museum of Fine Arts and Archeology

As well as being famed as one of France's finest "villes d'art" (art cities), Besançon
is the seat of one of France's older universities, of France's National School of Mechanics
and Micromechanics, and one of the best known French language
French language
schools in France, the CLA. It is also reputed[citation needed] to be France's environmentally friendliest city, with a public transport network that has often been cited as a model. On account of the topography, the historic city centre lies at the edge of the modern city, and hiking tracks lead straight from the centre and up into the surrounding hills. The city council has been in the hands of the Socialists and parties of the left since the Second World War. King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands is also the Lord of Besançon. The Christmas carol "Berger, Secoue Ton Sommeil Profond", known in English as "Shepherds, Shake Off Your Drowsy Sleep" originated in Besançon
in the 17th century. Other institutions[edit]

Museum of Time Museum of Franche-Comté Museum of Natural history, which contains a zoo, aquarium, insectarium, noctarium, and a climatology exhibit Besançon
Astronomical Observatory

Performing arts centers[edit]

Nouveau Théâtre

Opéra Théâtre: construit par Ledoux de 1778 à 1784 Grand Kursaal Nouveau Théâtre – Centre Dramatique National Cirque Plume Théâtre Bacchus Théâtre de la Bouloie Théâtre de l'Espace

Annual cultural events and fairs[edit] Several major events occur annually in Besançon. One of the best-known is the Besançon
International Music Festival, which takes place in September; it is one of the oldest and most prestigious Classical music festivals. Besançon
hosts other music festivals such as the Herbe en Zik Festival (French rock and variety) in May, the Jazz en Franche-Comté
Festival in June, the Franch Country Festival (country music) in August, and the Musiques de Rues Festival
Musiques de Rues Festival
(street music) in October. Sports[edit] The major sports in Besançon
are soccer, handball and basketball. The city's soccer club, called Besançon Racing Club
Besançon Racing Club
plays in the French seventh division. The city has also the International Football Academy of Orchamps Besançon
for young players from 4 to 13 years. Labelled by the French Football Federation since the creation of the label in 2004, its purpose is to teach young players in all aspects of football to become good competitive players. ASOB Foot Besançon
also had a fairly successful hockey team in the early 21st century. The Séquanes, named after an ancient gallic tribe, reached the French Cup final in 2002 (which the city hosted) and briefly played in the country's top league, then called Super 16. However the Séquanes' free spending policy soon backfired. The team folded in the middle of the 2002/03 season due to financial problems. Today, senior hockey subsists in Besançon
in the form of a low level amateur team. The city also had a good Canoe-Kayak Club, Sport Nautique Bisontin, one of the oldest in France.

Club Sport League Stadium

Racing Club Football Championnat de France
Amateurs Stade Léo Lagrange

Entente Sportive Bisontine Masculin Handball Nationale 1 Gymnase des Montboucons

Entente Sportive Bisontine Feminin Handball Division 1 (women's) Palais des Sports

Transport[edit] Road[edit] Besançon
is situated at the crossing of two major lines of communication, the NE-SW route that follows the valley of the river Doubs
and links Germany
and North Europe with Lyon
and southwest Europe, and the N-S route linking northern France
and the Netherlands with Switzerland. Air[edit] Unusually for a city of its size, Besançon
does not have a commercial airport. Two international airports, EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse- Freiburg
and Lyon
Saint-Exupéry International Airport, are about two hours away by car. Rail[edit] Besançon
is well connected with the rest of France
by train. One can reach major destinations such as Paris, Dijon, Belfort, Mulhouse, Strasbourg, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier
and Lille
directly. The city has some international connections to cities such as Basel
and Zürich in Switzerland
and Frankfurt am Main
Frankfurt am Main
in Germany.

Gare de Besançon-Viotte, the main railway station, sits in the centre of the city. Gare de Besançon
TGV is the high speed railway station and it sits some 10 km (6 mi) north of the city.

Tram[edit] A tramway commenced service in September 2014. The length of the line is 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) and the route follows a mainly South-West-North East direction through the city between Hauts du Chazal and alternative destinations of Chalezeule
("parc Micaud") and the Besançon
railway station at "Gare Viotte".[citation needed] Bus[edit]

The neighborhoud of Saint Magdalena church and the "Pont Battant".

Ginko runs Besançon's urban bus routes. Births[edit]

The birthplace of Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo
in Besançon

was the birthplace of:

Claude Goudimel
Claude Goudimel
(1510–1572), musician, teacher of Palestrina. Composer of Protestant hymns Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle
Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle
(1517–1586), cardinal, statesman and humanist. Counsellor of Charles V, Viceroy of Naples Jean-Baptiste Besard
Jean-Baptiste Besard
(1567 – c. 1625), lawyer, Doctor of Medicine and composer for the lute Jean-Baptiste Boisot
Jean-Baptiste Boisot
(1638–1694), abbot and scholar Jean Mairet
Jean Mairet
(1604–1686), dramatist Michel Blavet (1700–1768), flutist, composer Charles Fourier
Charles Fourier
(1772–1837), inventor of socialist "phalansteries" (vast communal buildings surrounded by a highly cultivated agricultural area) Charles-Étienne-François Ruty
Charles-Étienne-François Ruty
(1777–1828), comte, general, peer—commissioned into the army in 1793 and promoted to lt. general in 1813 Charles Weiss (1779–1866), librarian and bibliographer Charles Nodier
Charles Nodier
(1780–1844), writer. Leader of the Romantic movement Jean Claude Eugène Péclet
Jean Claude Eugène Péclet
(1793–1857), physicist, gave his name to the Péclet number Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo
(1802–1885), writer and poet Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
(1809–1865), politician, economist and author, theorist of anarchism Adolphe Braun
Adolphe Braun
(1812–1877), early photographer Marie Louise Outhwaite (née Roget) (1814–1905), prominent early settler of Auckland, New Zealand. Hilaire de Chardonnet
Hilaire de Chardonnet
(1838–1924), inventor of artificial silk Henry Aron
Henry Aron
(1842–1885), journalist[12] Louis-Jean Résal
Louis-Jean Résal
(1854–1920), engineer who built the Pont Mirabeau and the Pont Alexandre III
Pont Alexandre III
in Paris Auguste and Louis Lumière
Auguste and Louis Lumière
(1862–1954) and (1864–1948), inventors of cinematography Émile Scaremberg
Émile Scaremberg
(1863–1938), tenor Tristan Bernard
Tristan Bernard
(1866–1947), journalist and humorist Albert Seitz
Albert Seitz
(1872–1937), composer and violist Ludovic Arrachart (1897–1933), aviator Jean de Gribaldy
Jean de Gribaldy
(1922–1987), professional racing cyclist and directeur sportif Bernard Blum (1938-2014), agronomist and founder of IBMA and ABIM Raymond Blanc
Raymond Blanc
(born 1949), chef Thomas Paris
(born 1970), author Morrade Hakkar (born 1972), boxer Sylvie Mamy, musicologist Gaspard Augé
Gaspard Augé
(born 1979), one half of electronic music duo Justice Cyril Kali, footballer Yohann Lasimant, footballer Lucien Laurent, footballer

Literary references[edit]

Julius Caesar, in his account Commentarii de Bello Gallico
Commentarii de Bello Gallico
gives a description of the antique city of Besançon, named Vesontio (first book, section 38):

[1.38] When he had proceeded three days' journey, word was brought to him that Ariovistus was hastening with all his forces to seize on Vesontio, which is the largest town of the Sequani, and had advanced three days' journey from its territories. Caesar thought that he ought to take the greatest precautions lest this should happen, for there was in that town a most ample supply of every thing which was serviceable for war; and so fortified was it by the nature of the ground, as to afford a great facility for protracting the war, inasmuch as the river Doubs
almost surrounds the whole town, as though it were traced round it with a pair of compasses. A mountain of great height shuts in the remaining space, which is not more than 600 feet (180 m), where the river leaves a gap, in such a manner that the roots of that mountain extend to the river's bank on either side. A wall thrown around it makes a citadel of this [mountain], and connects it with the town.

Gary Jennings's novel Raptor, which takes place in the 5th century AD, describes Vesontio lavishly. In Stendhal's novel Le rouge et le noir, Julien Sorel, the main character, studies for a while at the Catholic seminary at Besançon (first book, chapters 24 to 30):

Eventually he saw the white walls beyond the distant mountain; it was the citadel of Besançon. "What a difference", he said, sighing, "if I could come into this fine city as a sub-lieutenant of one of these regiments of the post." Besançon
is not only one of the prettiest cities in France, but it abounds in brave and intelligent men. Julien, however, was only a little peasant, without any means of approaching distinguished personages.

In the poem This century was two years old (Les Feuilles d'automne; literally – "The Leaves of Autumn"), Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo
evokes his birth in Besançon:

This century was two years old. Rome was replacing Sparta; Already Napoleon was emerging from under Bonaparte. And already the First Consul's tight mask Had been split in several places by the Emperor's brow. It was then that in Besançon, that old Spanish town, Cast like a seed into the flying wind, A child was born of mixed blood—Breton and Lorraine— Pallid, blind and mute,... That child, whom Life was scratching from its book, And who had not another day to live, Was me.

is where the Touché! series, an Australian series of books that teaches people French, is set. The series is about an Australian boy called Nick, who moves to Besançon
after his parents separate. He settles in a street called rue Cézanne where he befriends a French girl called Marianne. She introduces him to other residents of rue Cézanne, such as Ahmed, Annick, François Petitpain, Émile Mesquin, Monsieur Fric, Madame
Boulin and Mademoiselle Moh. The first two books of the series take place in Besançon, whilst in the third, Nick visits his uncle in New Caledonia. In the fourth, Nick stays in Quebec, Canada. After the fourth book, Nick returns to Besançon. Julian Barnes's novel A History of the World in 10½ Chapters features as chapter 3: "Wars of Religion"—a fictional manuscript reportedly from the Archives Municipales de Besançon. Balzac's novel Albert Savaron takes place in Besançon. Colonel Sainte-Hermine, the fictional hero of Alexandre Dumas' The Last Cavalier, is a native of Besançon.

International relations[edit] See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in France Twin towns – sister cities[edit] Besançon
is twinned with:

(Russia) Freiburg
im Breisgau (Germany) Kuopio
(Finland) Kirklees
- England
(United Kingdom)[13][14]

(Poland)[15] Neuchâtel
(Switzerland) Bistriţa
(Romania) Pavia

(Israel) Douroula
(Burkina Faso) Man (Côte d'Ivoire) Charlottesville
(United States)

See also[edit]

Communes of the Doubs
department List of works by James Pradier A statue of Henri Bouchot stands in Besançon's square Henri-Bouchot. It was originally in bronze but was melted down by the Vichy régime. The replacement in stone was executed by Georges Saupique



^ Considering surface green spaces per inhabitant, Numbers available on the encyclopedia site Quid, at the bottom of the page Archived 9 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Caesar & BG, Book I, Section 12. ^ Strabo, Geography 4.3.2 ^ Shakespeare, Nicholas (2013) Priscilla: The Hidden Life of an Englishwoman in Wartime France. (Harvill Secker). ^ "Données climatiques de la station de Besançon" (in French). Meteo France. Retrieved January 4, 2016.  ^ "Climat Franche-Comté" (in French). Meteo France. Retrieved January 4, 2016.  ^ "Normes et records 1961-1990: Besançon
- Thise
(25) - altitude 307m" (in French). Infoclimat. Retrieved January 4, 2016.  ^ "Institut Supérieur d'Ingénieurs de Franche-Comté
(Besançon) web site". Retrieved 20 June 2011.  ^ http://www.kunsttrip.nl/images/besancon/facade%20van%20het%20palais%20granvelle%20becancon.jpg ^ http://familledoderen.canalblog.com/images/besancon_palais.jpg ^ http://www.coulouris.net/george-jean/tandemfrance2003/besancon/Images/9.jpg ^ Dupré, Romain (February 2013). "Henri, dit Henry, Aron, professeur, publiciste, directeur du Journal officiel". Archives Juives, Revue d'histoire des Juifs de France, Vol. 46, pp. 136-140. Retrieved 24 January 2016 (subscription required for full access) (in French). ^ "British towns twinned with French towns". Archant Community Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-11.  ^ "Freedom of Kirklees
...for a French town!". Huddersfield Examiner. 1 April 2005. Archived from the original on 22 February 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2009.  ^ " Bielsko-Biała
- Partner Cities". © 2008 Urzędu Miejskiego w Bielsku-Białej. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 

Bibliography[edit] See also: Bibliography of the history of Besançon External links[edit]

Official website (in French)

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Besançon.

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Communes of the Doubs

Abbans-Dessous Abbans-Dessus Abbenans Abbévillers Accolans Adam-lès-Passavant Adam-lès-Vercel Aibre Aïssey Allenjoie Les Alliés Allondans Amagney Amancey Amathay-Vésigneux Amondans Anteuil Appenans Arbouans Arc-et-Senans Arcey Arçon Arc-sous-Cicon Arc-sous-Montenot Arguel Aubonne Audeux Audincourt Autechaux Autechaux-Roide Les Auxons Avanne-Aveney Avilley Avoudrey Badevel Bannans Le Barboux Bart Bartherans Battenans-les-Mines Battenans-Varin Baume-les-Dames Bavans Belfays Le Bélieu Belleherbe Belmont Belvoir Berche Berthelange Besançon Bethoncourt Beure Beutal Bians-les-Usiers Bief Le Bizot Blamont Blarians Blussangeaux Blussans Bolandoz Bondeval Bonnal Bonnay Bonnétage Bonnevaux La Bosse Bouclans Boujailles Bourguignon Bournois Boussières Bouverans Braillans Branne Breconchaux Bremondans Brères Les Bréseux La Bretenière Bretigney Bretigney-Notre-Dame Bretonvillers Brey-et-Maison-du-Bois Brognard Buffard Bugny Bulle Burgille Burnevillers Busy By Byans-sur-Doubs Cademène Cendrey Cernay-l'Église Cessey Chaffois Chalèze Chalezeule Chamesey Chamesol Champagney Champlive Champoux Champvans-les-Moulins Chantrans Chapelle-des-Bois Chapelle-d'Huin Charmauvillers Charmoille Charnay Charquemont Chassagne-Saint-Denis Châteauvieux-les-Fossés Châtelblanc Châtillon-Guyotte Châtillon-le-Duc Châtillon-sur-Lison Chaucenne Chaudefontaine La Chaux Chaux-lès-Clerval Chaux-lès-Passavant Chaux-Neuve Chay Chazot Chemaudin et Vaux La Chenalotte Chenecey-Buillon Chevigney-lès-Vercel Chevigney-sur-l'Ognon La Chevillotte Chevroz Chouzelot Cléron La Cluse-et-Mijoux Colombier-Fontaine Les Combes Consolation-Maisonnettes Corcelle-Mieslot Corcelles-Ferrières Corcondray Côtebrune Courcelles Courcelles-lès-Montbéliard Courchapon Cour-Saint-Maurice Courtefontaine Courtetain-et-Salans Courvières Crosey-le-Grand Crosey-le-Petit Le Crouzet Crouzet-Migette Cubrial Cubry Cusance Cuse-et-Adrisans Cussey-sur-Lison Cussey-sur-l'Ognon Dambelin Dambenois Dammartin-les-Templiers Dampierre-les-Bois Dampierre-sur-le-Doubs Dampjoux Damprichard Dannemarie Dannemarie-sur-Crète Dasle Deluz Désandans Déservillers Devecey Dommartin Dompierre-les-Tilleuls Domprel Doubs Dung Durnes Échay Échenans Échevannes École-Valentin Les Écorces Écot L'Écouvotte Écurcey Émagny Épenouse Épenoy Épeugney Esnans Étalans Éternoz Étouvans Étrabonne Étrappe Étray Étupes Évillers Exincourt Eysson Faimbe Fallerans Ferrières-le-Lac Ferrières-les-Bois Fertans Fesches-le-Châtel Fessevillers Feule Les Fins Flagey Flagey-Rigney Flangebouche Fleurey Fontain Fontaine-lès-Clerval Fontenelle-Montby Les Fontenelles Fontenotte Foucherans Fourbanne Fourcatier-et-Maison-Neuve Fourg Les Fourgs Fournet-Blancheroche Fournets-Luisans Frambouhans Franey Franois Frasne Froidevaux Fuans Gellin Gémonval Geneuille Geney Gennes Germéfontaine Germondans Gevresin Gilley Glamondans Glay Glère Gondenans-les-Moulins Gondenans-Montby Gonsans Gouhelans Goumois Goux-lès-Dambelin Goux-les-Usiers Goux-sous-Landet Grand-Charmont Grand'Combe-Châteleu Grand'Combe-des-Bois Grandfontaine Grandfontaine-sur-Creuse La Grange Granges-Narboz Les Grangettes Les Gras Le Gratteris Grosbois Guillon-les-Bains Guyans-Durnes Guyans-Vennes Hauterive-la-Fresse Hérimoncourt L'Hôpital-du-Grosbois L'Hôpital-Saint-Lieffroy Les Hôpitaux-Neufs Les Hôpitaux-Vieux Houtaud Huanne-Montmartin Hyémondans Hyèvre-Magny Hyèvre-Paroisse Indevillers L'Isle-sur-le-Doubs Issans Jallerange Jougne Labergement-Sainte-Marie Laire Laissey Lanans Landresse Lantenne-Vertière Lanthenans Larnod Laval-le-Prieuré Lavans-Quingey Lavans-Vuillafans Lavernay Laviron Levier Liebvillers Liesle Lizine Lods Lombard Lomont-sur-Crête Longechaux Longemaison Longevelle-lès-Russey Longevelle-sur-Doubs Longeville La Longeville Longevilles-Mont-d'Or Loray Lougres Le Luhier Luxiol Magny-Châtelard Maîche Maisons-du-Bois-Lièvremont Malans Malbrans Malbuisson Malpas Mamirolle Mancenans Mancenans-Lizerne Mandeure Marchaux Marvelise Mathay Mazerolles-le-Salin Médière Le Mémont Mercey-le-Grand Mérey-sous-Montrond Mérey-Vieilley Mésandans Meslières Mesmay Métabief Miserey-Salines Moncey Moncley Mondon Montagney-Servigney Montancy Montandon Montbéliard Montbéliardot Montbenoît Mont-de-Laval Mont-de-Vougney Montécheroux Montenois Montfaucon Montferrand-le-Château Montflovin Montgesoye Montivernage Montjoie-le-Château Montlebon Montmahoux Montperreux Montrond-le-Château Montussaint Morre Morteau Mouthe Le Moutherot Mouthier-Haute-Pierre Myon Naisey-les-Granges Nancray Nans Nans-sous-Sainte-Anne Narbief Neuchâtel-Urtière Noël-Cerneux Noirefontaine Noironte Nommay Novillars Ollans Onans Orchamps-Vennes Orgeans-Blanchefontaine Ornans Orsans Orve Osse Osselle-Routelle Ougney-Douvot Ouhans Ouvans Oye-et-Pallet Palantine Palise Paroy Passavant Passonfontaine Pays de Clerval Pelousey Péseux Pessans Petite-Chaux Pierrefontaine-lès-Blamont Pierrefontaine-les-Varans Pirey Placey Plaimbois-du-Miroir Plaimbois-Vennes Les Plains-et-Grands-Essarts La Planée Pompierre-sur-Doubs Pontarlier Pont-de-Roide-Vermondans Les Pontets Pont-les-Moulins Pouilley-Français Pouilley-les-Vignes Pouligney-Lusans Les Premiers-Sapins Présentevillers La Prétière Provenchère Puessans Pugey Le Puy Quingey Rahon Rancenay Randevillers Rang Raynans Recologne Reculfoz Rémondans-Vaivre Remoray-Boujeons Renédale Rennes-sur-Loue Reugney Rigney Rignosot Rillans La Rivière-Drugeon Rochejean Roche-lès-Clerval Roche-lez-Beaupré Roches-lès-Blamont Rognon Romain Ronchaux Rondefontaine Roset-Fluans Rosières-sur-Barbèche Rosureux Rougemont Rougemontot Rouhe Roulans Ruffey-le-Château Rurey Le Russey Saint-Antoine Sainte-Anne Sainte-Colombe Sainte-Marie Sainte-Suzanne Saint-Georges-Armont Saint-Gorgon-Main Saint-Hilaire Saint-Hippolyte Saint-Juan Saint-Julien-lès-Montbéliard Saint-Julien-lès-Russey Saint-Maurice-Colombier Saint-Point-Lac Saint-Vit Samson Sancey Saône Saraz Sarrageois Saules Sauvagney Scey-Maisières Séchin Seloncourt Semondans Septfontaines Serre-les-Sapins Servin Silley-Amancey Silley-Bléfond Sochaux Solemont Sombacour La Sommette Soulce-Cernay Sourans Soye Surmont Taillecourt Tallans Tallenay Tarcenay Les Terres-de-Chaux Thiébouhans Thise Thoraise Thulay Thurey-le-Mont Torpes Touillon-et-Loutelet La Tour-de-Sçay Tournans Trépot Tressandans Trévillers Trouvans Urtière Uzelle Vaire Le Val Valdahon Val-de-Roulans Valentigney Valleroy Valonne Valoreille Vandoncourt Vauchamps Vaucluse Vauclusotte Vaudrivillers Vaufrey Vaux-et-Chantegrue Velesmes-Essarts Vellerot-lès-Belvoir Vellerot-lès-Vercel Vellevans Venise Vennans Vennes Vercel-Villedieu-le-Camp Vergranne Verne Vernierfontaine Vernois-lès-Belvoir Le Vernoy Verrières-de-Joux La Vèze Vieilley Viéthorey Vieux-Charmont Villars-lès-Blamont Villars-Saint-Georges Villars-sous-Dampjoux Villars-sous-Écot Les Villedieu Ville-du-Pont Villeneuve-d'Amont Villers-Buzon Villers-Chief Villers-Grélot Villers-la-Combe Villers-le-Lac Villers-Saint-Martin Villers-sous-Chalamont Villers-sous-Montrond Voillans Voires Vorges-les-Pins Voujeaucourt Vuillafans Vuillecin Vyt-lès-Belvoir

v t e

Prefectures of departments of France

(Ain) Laon
(Aisne) Moulins (Allier) Digne-les-Bains
(Alpes-de-Haute-Provence) Gap (Hautes-Alpes) Nice
(Alpes-Maritimes) Privas
(Ardèche) Charleville-Mézières
(Ardennes) Foix
(Ariège) Troyes
(Aube) Carcassonne
(Aude) Rodez
(Aveyron) Marseille
(Bouches-du-Rhône) Caen
(Calvados) Aurillac
(Cantal) Angoulême
(Charente) La Rochelle
La Rochelle
(Charente-Maritime) Bourges
(Cher) Tulle
(Corrèze) Ajaccio
(Corse-du-Sud) Bastia
(Haute-Corse) Dijon
(Côte-d'Or) Saint-Brieuc
(Côtes-d'Armor) Guéret
(Creuse) Périgueux
(Dordogne) Besançon
(Doubs) Valence (Drôme) Évreux
(Eure) Chartres
(Eure-et-Loir) Quimper
(Finistère) Nîmes
(Gard) Toulouse
(Haute-Garonne) Auch
(Gers) Bordeaux
(Gironde) Montpellier
(Hérault) Rennes
(Ille-et-Vilaine) Châteauroux
(Indre) Tours
(Indre-et-Loire) Grenoble
(Isère) Lons-le-Saunier
(Jura) Mont-de-Marsan
(Landes) Blois
(Loir-et-Cher) Saint-Étienne
(Loire) Le Puy-en-Velay
Le Puy-en-Velay
(Haute-Loire) Nantes
(Loire-Atlantique) Orléans
(Loiret) Cahors
(Lot) Agen
(Lot-et-Garonne) Mende (Lozère) Angers
(Maine-et-Loire) Saint-Lô
(Manche) Châlons-en-Champagne
(Marne) Chaumont (Haute-Marne) Laval (Mayenne) Nancy (Meurthe-et-Moselle) Bar-le-Duc
(Meuse) Vannes
(Morbihan) Metz
(Moselle) Nevers
(Nièvre) Lille
(Nord) Beauvais
(Oise) Alençon
(Orne) Arras
(Pas-de-Calais) Clermont-Ferrand
(Puy-de-Dôme) Pau (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) Tarbes
(Hautes-Pyrénées) Perpignan
(Pyrénées-Orientales) Strasbourg
(Bas-Rhin) Colmar
(Haut-Rhin) Lyon
(Rhône) Vesoul
(Haute-Saône) Mâcon
(Saône-et-Loire) Le Mans
Le Mans
(Sarthe) Chambéry
(Savoie) Annecy
(Haute-Savoie) Paris
(Paris) Rouen
(Seine-Maritime) Melun
(Seine-et-Marne) Versailles (Yvelines) Niort
(Deux-Sèvres) Amiens
(Somme) Albi
(Tarn) Montauban
(Tarn-et-Garonne) Toulon
(Var) Avignon
(Vaucluse) La Roche-sur-Yon
La Roche-sur-Yon
(Vendée) Poitiers
(Vienne) Limoges
(Haute-Vienne) Épinal
(Vosges) Auxerre
(Yonne) Belfort
(Territoire de Belfort) Évry (Essonne) Nanterre
(Hauts-de-Seine) Bobigny
(Seine-Saint-Denis) Créteil
(Val-de-Marne) Cergy, Pontoise

Overseas departments

(Guadeloupe) Fort-de- France
(Martinique) Cayenne
(French Guiana) Saint-Denis (Réunion) Mamoudzou

v t e

Prefectures of the regions of France

Metropolitan France

(Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) Dijon
(Bourgogne-Franche-Comté) Rennes
(Brittany) Orléans
(Centre-Val de Loire) Ajaccio
(Corsica) Strasbourg
(Grand Est) Lille
(Hauts-de-France) Paris
(Île-de-France) Rouen
(Normandy) Bordeaux
(Nouvelle-Aquitaine) Toulouse
(Occitanie) Nantes
(Pays de la Loire) Marseille
(Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur)

Overseas regions

(French Guiana) Basse-Terre
(Guadeloupe) Fort-de- France
(Martinique) Mamoudzou
(Mayotte) Saint-Denis (Réunion)

v t e

Fortifications of Vauban
part of the UNESCO
World Heritage Sites

Arras Citadel of Besançon Blaye-Cussac-Fort-Médoc Briançon Camaret-sur-Mer Longwy Mont-Dauphin Mont-Louis Neuf-Brisach Saint-Martin-de-Ré Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue/Tatihou Villefranche-de-Conflent

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 126658519 LCCN: n79091187 GND: 4005972-8 SUDOC: 026361000 BNF: cb15252282f (dat