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Besançon Citadel, a place of living heritage



Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Vauban's masterpiece, the Besançon Citadel, is considered to be one of the finest in France.
More than 100 metres above the old town of the Franche-Comté capital encircled by a loop of the River Doubs, the Citadel has spectacular views from its ramparts. A cultural and tourism show-piece, it's an astonishingly varied and exciting example of both historic and living heritage perfect for fascinating days out.

An exceptional site boasting outstanding architecture and a remarkably well-restored example of a historic building
Considered to be one of Vauban's major works, the Besançon Citadel is a life-size illustration of 17th century military architecture: tenailles, sentry boxes, curtain walls, watch towers, demilunes and rampart walks, all waiting to be discovered on an 11-hectare site.  Learn more about the Citadel

Today the Citadel houses three award-winning museums behind its ramparts…
Museum of French Resistance and Deportation, a European reference point
A poignant testimonial to a dark period of history, supported by a wealth of photographs, texts, documents and original objects.
Founded in 1971 at the instigation of Denise Lorach, a concentration camp survivor, the Museum explores themes related to the Second World War in 20 rooms arranged over two floors.
Learn more about the Museum of French Resistance and Deportation

The Musée comtois (Franche-Comté Museum), an exhibition space dedicated to Franche-Comté traditions and exploration of our own times
The Musée comtois (Franche-Comté Museum) was inaugurated in 1960 in the prestigious setting of the Front Royal inside the Citadel. The museum tells the story of the people and landscapes that shaped Franche-Comté in the 19th and 20th centuries. It also includes cultural exhibits from around the world and contemporary societies. Its founder, Abbot Jean Garneret (1907-2002), made an important contribution to the development of regional ethnology. Learn more about the Musée comtois (Franche-Comté Museum)

The Natural History Museum, an internationally recognised attraction
Behind its ramparts, the Citadel houses the Natural History Museum of Besançon, a unique and unexpected attraction in this unusual setting. Located in the Citadel since 1959, the Museum adopts an unconventional approach with mounted collections exhibited alongside a highly diverse range of living animals.With its Zoo, Farm, Aquarium, Insectarium and Noctarium, this is the only place in France with such a wide variety of animals in the same place!
Learn more about the Natural History Museum

 

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