Besancon Travel Guide - InfoBarrel

Situated close to the Swiss border in eastern France, Besanon is the capital city from the Franche-Comt region. The town features a long history dating back age of Julius Caesar, however today Besanon carries a very young feel into it due to the large population of foreign students that reside there. Besides it rich history, Besanon is best known for it's local micro-technology and watch-making industries. In fact, the location is considered to be one of France's leading technology centers in a variety spanning from biotechnology to telecommunications. A brief local reputation BesanonBesanon had strategic significance throughout its history because geography, with all the Alps for the city's south providing an organic defense. Caesar mentions town in their journals regarding his conquest of Gaul. He means city as Vesontio and describes the wooden palisade that surrounded it at that time. Over time, town's name slowly transformed from Basantio, Besontion and Bisanz before coming to the modern French title of Besanon, stemming from the ancient heritage with the Bisontine. During the Middle Ages, control of Besanon initially fell beneath the Duke of Burgundy then this Roman Empire from 1034 before retuning for the Dukes of Burgundy during the Renaissance. Mary of Burgundy's marriage to Maximilian I again returned Besanon to the Roman Empire under Spanish King Charles V. Until the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 it remained part from the empire, following that this received Spanish sovereignty. Within a few decades however, the French took control in the city. The French heavily fortified town, reinforcing the citadel, constructing a wall to surround the location and a moat system. Six forts were also built on the hills around town. During WWII Besanon's citadel was occupied from the Nazis, as well as the site was adopted from the Germans to complete fighters from the French resistance. The town saw almost no action during the war otherwise and so incurred minimal damage. The citadel now serves as a museum. Things to see and do in BesanonHaving been a location of significance throughout history, there are numerous historic sites to check out in Besanon with several classic stone buildings in the Middle Ages and Spanish Renaissance remaining within the town. Be sure you take the time to visit the Roman ruins for example the Porte Noire and Square Castan, 16th century Palais Granvelle, the Cathedral of St Jean, the citadel, glise Sainte-Madeleine church hall as well as ingesting the beauty of the riverfront. The Museum of Fine Arts and Archeology is also well worth a try, containing some with the finest artworks and ancient antiquities outside of Paris. Museum buffs will likely enjoy the Museum of Time, Museum of Franche-Comt and the Museum of Natural History.