Attractions in Franche-Comté

Franche-Comté the former “Free County” of Burgundy,and is now part of the larger region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comte. It is composed of the modern departments of Doubs, Jura, Haute-Saône and Territoire de Belfort.

The principal cities are the capital Besançon, Belfort, and Montbéliard (Aire Urbaine Belfort-Montbéliard-Héricourt-Delle). Other important cities are Dole (capital before the region was conquered by Louis XIV in the late 17th century), Vesoul (capital of Haute-Saône), Arbois(the “wine capital” of the Jura), and Lons-le-Saunier (capital of Jura).

Among the regional languages of France the term Franc-Comtois refers to two dialects of two different languages. Franc-Comtois is the name of both the dialect of Langue d’Oïl spoken by people in the northern part of the region and the dialect of Arpitan spoken in its southern part since as early as the 13th century (the southern two-thirds of Jura and the southern third of Doubs). Both are recognized as languages of France.

See also: Cities in Franche-Comté

The Citadel of Besançon in Franche-Comté, France, is one of the military architect Vauban’s masterpieces. The Citadel occupies eleven hectares on Mount Saint-Etienne, one of the seven hills that protect Besançon, the capital of Franche-Comté. Mount Saint-Etienne occupies the neck of an ox-bow formed by the river Doubs, giving the site a strategic importance that Julius Caesar recognized as early as 58 BC.

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The Saline Royale (Royal Saltworks) is a historical building at Arc-et-Senans in the department of Doubs, eastern France. It is next to the Forest of Chaux and about 35 kilometers from Besançon.

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The Fort de Joux or Château de Joux is a castle, transformed into a fort, located in La Cluse-et-Mijoux, in the Doubs département, in the Jura mountains of France. It commands the mountain pass “Cluse de Pontarlier”. During its long history, Fort de Joux has gone through successive stages of construction.

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The Château de Montbéliard (Castle of Montbeliard), also known as the Château des ducs de Württemberg is a fortress located on an outcropping rock that surveys the town of Montbéliard in the Doubs département ofFrance. It is a monument historique listed by the French Ministry of Culture.

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Set in a blind valley surrounded by cliffs, the Hérisson River tumbles 805 metres down a series of 31 drops and 7 waterfalls before passing through Val and Chambly Lakes. A footpath offers the opportunity to visit this outstanding natural site and to follow the river and discover its many waterfalls, pools and caves.

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The building that is now the cathedral was built as a church between 1727 and 1750 by the businessman Henri Schuller (or Shuler) (whose son was later a canon here) to plans by Jacques Philippe Mareschal, king’s engineer at Strasbourg. It was built of red sandstone excavated from the quarry at Offremont, three kilometres from Belfort.

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The Château d’Oricourt is a castle in the commune of Oricourt in the département of Haute-Saône, in the Franche-Comtéregion of France. The original castle on the site was a feudal motte built in wood. The present castle was built during the 12th century on the edge of a plateau, facing the Lure plain, the Château d’Oricourt is a double-walled castle.

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