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Besançon, city of holiday in France - ©Comité Régional du Tourisme de Franche-Comté
Every September for over 60 years, the festival draws crowds of classical music lovers.
The programme includes orchestras, symphonies, chamber music, and the prestigious international young conductors competition.
Besançon is clearly deserving of its title as the leading green city in France. Nature is never very far away and there are 1001 ways of getting to know the capital of Franche-Comté: By bike, along the Eurovélo 6 which follows the banks of the Doubs, on the water with a boat tour, or on foot to explore its numerous parks and gardens.
It is also a city with a prestigious past, and the birthplace of men as famous as Victor Hugo and the Lumière Brothers. A "town of art and history”, Besançon invites you on a trip through the ages. Beginning with the Gallo-roman period with archaeological remains that guide visitors from the Fine Art Museum to the Porte-Noire and then Castan Square. Take a detour through the 16th century in the Palais Granvelle courtyard, a real gem of the Renaissance, and then enter the majestic 17th century via the imposing Vauban Citadel, a recent addition to UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites. You will end up in the 18th century which saw a number of new structures erected: a theatre built by Ledoux, Sainte Madeleine Church, the Chamars promenade, or Saint Jacques Hospital.
The city also deserves its title as the Capital of Time, as since 1793 it has been producing watches and clocks whose splendour can be fully appreciated in the Musée du Temps. Pop in to Saint Jean Cathedral to admire its celestial clock, a wonder of precision with a mind-boggling mechanism.