Article

La Citadelle de Besancon

La Citadelle de Besancon

La Citadelle de Besancon

La Citadelle de Besancon (99 Rue des Fusillés de la Résistance, 25000 Besançon) — located towards the Swiss border (90 minutes east of the regional town of Dijon), this medieval military outpost is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A 17th century masterpiece of military engineer Sébastien le Prestre de Vauban, the Besançon Citadel, is considered to be one of the finest in France. The fortifications cover 11 hectares and lie more than 100 metres above the old town sitting in a loop of the River Doubs. The site is encircled by ramparts topped by walkways and punctuated with watchtowers and bartizans. The walls are up to 20 metres high and 5 to 6 metres thick. The Citadel offers visitors spectacular views over the old town of Besançon and the surrounding hills.

 

Four exhibition rooms explore the life and times of Vauban and other important figures and places including Louis XIV, Versailles and Molière. Exhibits retrace the two French conquests of Franche-Comté, the construction of the Citadel and how young aristocratic soldiers in service to the King (the Cadets du Roi) lived here. This journey through time continues with an animated film on the construction and history of the Citadel, “Au coeur d’une Citadelle” (In the Heart of a Citadel). This 10-minute film uses computer-generated images and is broadcast repeatedly throughout the day, complementing the text, illustrations and objects exhibited.

 

Admission: €10.60 (adult), €8.50 (children ages 8-17, students, unemployed), €5 (children ages 4-7), free for children under 4 years. Family day pass (two adults and any number of children): €32. Hours vary. Check the citadelle’s website for an updated schedule: https://www.citadelle.com/en/practical-info-on-the-citadel/opening-hours.html