Visit Citadelle de Besançon


Gratuit avec le The Burgundy-Franche-Comté Pass

Set high up on its anticline, Besançon Citadel occupies a total of 11 hectares. It could easily have contained a town of 10,000 inhabitants. The fortress is one of Vauban's masterpieces, and it is said that its construction was so costly that Louis XIV enquired as to whether the walls had been made out of gold. The Citadel has a dual heritage. The first is that of its initial vocation as a defensive fortress, brilliantly designed and built, which had very few opportunities to show its steel in military situations.The Citadel then turned to displaying the heritage and history that had been bequeathed to it, and which it is now so proud to present to visitors. The Citadel, which is the leading tourist attraction in Franche-Comté in terms of visitor numbers, and was voted "Tourist Site of the Year" by the Ministry of Tourism in 2003, has become the pride and joy of the people of Besançon.


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Citadelle de Besançon

Vauban's masterpiece and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Besançon Citadel is considered to be one of the most beautiful in France. It towers more than 100 metres above the old town of the Comtois capital, set in a meander of the river, and offers spectacular panoramic views from its ramparts. A major cultural and tourist attraction, the Citadelle delivers on its promise of a living heritage that is full of emotion.
In addition to the admirably restored 12-hectare architectural complex, the Citadelle is home to three Museums of France behind its ramparts, offering a fascinating range of attractions:
- the Musée Comtois, an exhibition of the traditions of Franche-Comté and a place to reflect on our times
- the Musée de la Résistance et de la Déportation (Museum of the Resistance and Deportation), which reopened on 8 September 2023 after being closed for more than three years, including 16 months of renovation work.
- the Museum, which illustrates biodiversity and helps to preserve endangered species in its various areas (Zoological Garden, Aquarium, Insectarium, Noctarium and small farm). Nowhere else in France is it possible to see such a diversity of animals in one place.

Hours :

Annual closure, from 8 January 2024 to 9 February 2024 inclusiveMondays in low season: Citadelle closed (EXCEPT FOR GROUPS AND BY RESERVATION)