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Little Tourist Train Tour

1. Boat Departure

At the Pont de la République our boat is waiting for you.

a boat floating along a river next to a body of water
2. Lock of the Moulin St Paul

Passing through the first lock, this one is manual. Opening by the force of the arms by the crew members.

a pile of snow
3. Parc Micaud

Admire the Parc Micaud (background), a nature area in the heart of Besançon. Ideal for a jog, a walk or a picnic.

a small boat in a body of water
4. City of Arts and Culture

The Cité des Arts et de la Culture, the fruit of Kengo Kuma’s creativity, inaugurated in 2013. It houses the FRAC (Regional Fund for Contemporary Art) and the Conservatory.

a boat is docked next to a body of water
5. Rodia Cultural Complex

Built on stilts, the complex includes a 600 m2 esplanade and concert halls.

a bridge over a body of water
6. Rodhia Ceta

Former industrial pole of the city, these factories are now in abandon. Thirty years ago more than 5000 people worked there.

a body of water
7. Tour de Rivotte

This defensive tower was built in the 17th century to protect the city from any attack.

a castle on a rocky hill
8. Tunnel under the Citadel

Is it possible to go under the Citadel? Yes, thanks to the 375 meters underground tunnel which the boat Le Vauban uses.

underwater bridge
9. Tarragnoz Lock

Automatic lock, the boat goes down three meters to get back to the starting level of the river.

a boat filled with logs
10. Tarragnoz Dam - Fortification

Breathtaking view on the fortifications of the Citadel (built by Vauban and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008) and on the Tarragnoz dam.

a bridge over a body of water
11. Water Station

Preferred place for walkers. Ideal to rest on the grass, on a bench, around a good picnic or during a nap.

a bridge over a body of water
12. Prefecture

This former headquarters of the General Administration of Besançon, built at the end of the 18th century, has housed, since the Revolution, the prefecture services of the Doubs department and the Franche-Comté region.

a person sitting on a bench next to a body of water
13. Bastioned Tower of Cordeliers - Chamars

Another defense tower built by Vauban in the 17th century. It ends the banks of the water station.

a boat traveling along a river next to a body of water
14. The City - ALC

Built on the banks of the Doubs, the business center houses a hotel and offices. Among other things, it is home of the Applied Linguistics Center.

a bridge over a body of water
15. University City

University residence close to the city center, it has been completely renovated. Its architecture blends perfectly into the historical setting of the city.

a small boat in a body of water
16. Vauban Quays

A true architectural treasure of Vauban, the quays are composed of a group of arcaded houses built between 1692 and 1695. Once the night falls, the quays are illuminated and another vision comes to you.

a large body of water with a city in the background
17. Sainte Madeleine Church

Built at the entrance of the Battant district, it was built, destroyed and restored several times since the 11th century. Inside, it is white and luminous. It houses, among other things, a life-size Way of the Cross.

a small boat in a body of water with a city in the background
18. Synagogue

On the edge of the Quays you can admire the synagogue. An atypical style for a place of cult of the most ancient.

a bridge over a body of water
19. Pelote Tower

Built in the 15th century, this tower has been classified as a historical monument since October 21st, 1942.

a bridge over a body of water
20. The Minotaur

This sculpture – bronze fountain of 7 meters – represents a minotaur which during floods of the Doubs is used as the Zouave of the Pont de l’Alma in Paris”.

a bridge over a body of water
A. Departure Little Train (Rivotte parking lot)

Find the Little Train at its departure from the Rivotte car park.

a truck is parked on the side of a building
B. Rivotte Gate

A military building built in the 16th century under Charles Quint, it is one of the last two gates of the city. In 1893 the towers were pierced by two crosswalks.

a car parked on the side of a building
C. Rue Peclet - Rue des Martelots

Located at the corner of rue des Martelots and rue Peclet, the Alvizet hotel is a mansion. Its construction would be between 1620 and 1625.

a close up of a busy city street
D. Jean Cornet Place - Fountain

The monumental fountain that decorates the Jean Cornet Place is graved with the slogan of Besançon: “UTINAM”, a Latin term that means “Pleasant to God”.

a statue of a person
E. Rue des Granges

Stroll along the rue des Granges and admire the typical old buildings of the city center.

a group of people walking down a street next to a building
F. Rue de la République
a truck is parked on the side of a building
G. Place du 8 Septembre

Also commonly known as Saint Pierre Place, it takes its name from the date of the liberation of Besançon on September 8th, 1944.

a church with a clock on the side of a road
H. St. Pierre Church

Located in the heart of the city center, this church was built from 1782 to 1786.

a group of people standing in front of a brick building
I. Granvelle Palace

The Granvelle Palace reflects the prestige of its builder, Nicolas Perrenot of Granvelle. It was built from 1532 on a huge plot of land in the heart of the city. Today it houses the Museum of Time.

a person sitting on a bench in front of a building
J. Birth house of Victor Hugo

At the bend in the road you will pass in front of the house where Victor Hugo was born. Inaugurated in 2014, it is a museum dedicated to this great man from Franche-Comté.

a clock on the side of a building
K. Square Castan

Located not far away from Victor Hugo’s birth house, this square inspired many local artists and poets such as Pierre-Joseph Proudhon or Charles Nodier.

a large tree in a park
L. Black Gate

The Black Gate of Besançon is a 16.56 meter high Gallo-Roman triumphal arch built in the second century. It is entirely decorated with thin sculptures representing divinities from Greek and Roman mythology and scenes of fights.

a large stone statue in front of a building
M. St Jean Cathedral

Church, basilica and cathedral at the same time, it was built in the 3rd century then rebuilt in the 9th and 11th centuries. The building is one of the few to have two opposing choirs.

a large stone building with a clock
N. Astronomical Clock

Housed in the Saint Pierre Cathedral, the astronomical clock of Besançon is designed with a precise and complex mechanism of more than 30,000 elements and 11 movements.

a group of people standing in front of a building
O. Rue des Fusillés

On the way up to the Citadel you can see a monument dedicated to the shot men.

a train is parked on the side of a road
P. Citadel

Built by the famous architect Vauban, the Little Train will take you to the entrance of the Citadel, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008. You will have the opportunity to walk along the guard way and visit among others the museum of the Resistance.

a train is parked on the side of a road
Q. View over Besançon

Take advantage of the wonderful view from the car park of the Citadel where the Little Train will drop you off.

a river with a city in the background