Jean-Claude WIEBER, emeritous profesor of geography at the University of Besançon, suggested wednesday evening a guided tour of the capital city of Franche-Comté. About thirty guests took part in : Italians, Hungarians, Spanish, Romanians, Algerians, French could discover unknown sides of the town. Interresting and instructive, this tour of the town centre was eventful too : the group separate, got lost, got together… then a majority of guests disapeared between Battant Bridge and Griffon Fort ! Did they get lost along the way ? Did they prefer to come back to their hotel before the nightfall ? We invite them to post a comment so that they give us a piece of news…
Let us come back to our tour. The first pause took place after out going of the University, in front of the Musical Theatre “one of the most beautiful Nicolas Ledoux’s works.” With an neoclassical architecture, it was built during the XVIIIth century, like most buildings of Préfecture Street, a couple of meters further. This street has beautiful interior courtyards, that the guests admired until they lost the rest of the group ! But it didn’t prevent them from observing with much interest the prefecture and Saint Jacques hospital.
It was in front of the town council where the group completly got re-formed, just in time in order to discover the statue of Victor Hugo, in front they wanted to be photographied. Mr WIEBER suggested then to discover some places usually with no admittance, as the yard of the Courthouse and the one of Victor Hugo Secondary School. This one, “formerly the principal of Franche-Comté”, was built “in the middle of the XVIIth century by the Jesuit.” It was however impossible to observe the works of the Îlot Pasteur, closed at that late time.
The arrival by the River Doubs was the opportunity of a longuer break than the precedents : there was an infinity of possibilities of taking pictures between the banks and Madeleine Church !
As the night was falling fast, Mr WIEBER recommended to quicken the visit step : it was disastrous for the group ! Some of them were still admirating the church, others were staring with craving at the window of a butcher shop, most of them, tired by the trip, were walking up slowly the craggy Madeleine Street ; at Griffon Fort, Mr WIEBER was surrounded only by about ten people !
The latecomers missed unfortunately the visit attraction : the panorama of Besançon from Griffon Fort. Indeed, the guest could discover the roofs of the town from the Station to Chamars square, and the Citadelle. Walking down to town centre by Battant St, the group crossed the interior yard of the town house of Champagney “which looks like to Turkish houses” according to an Algerian academic. The exterior front decorated with gargoyles sparked off much interest too. Once arrived at Battant Bridge, the group find with pleasure two of lost guests previously. But it was already 7:20pm, and those who wanted to come back to their hotel before the dinner leave the visit. The tour continued so, in spite of the night, with seven people.
After a step on Revolution Square in front of the Beaux-arts museum, this little group join Main Street, in order to discover the “trajes”, exterior stairs typical of the architecture of Besançon. After a short break September 8th Square, it was necessary to cut short the visit, as our visitors group was expected to be at 8:00pm at the bus stop of Granvelle for a dinner at ADAPEI. This walk ended up with a short introduction of native houses of three French figures : Charles Fourier’s (at the intersection of the Main Street and Moncey Street), Victor Hugo’s and brothers Lumière’s, both near of Victor Hugo Square.
It was 7:55PM, and after a last glimpse at floodlit Saint Jean Cathedral, here came the time to join the dinner…
This too short tour has been appreciated by all, and gave rise to discover Besançon and his monuments.
Link : Pics galery of the tour.