Besançon the city of fortresses

Besancon Travel Blog

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The decommisioned Funiculaire de Brégille: the tracks are still in place

From my previous blog entry one probably already knows that I am heading to the south of France. Willem and Lot have rented a nice cottage and have invited me to come over and spend some days with them. They usually have to travel far to visit me, now the tables are turned and it is me travelling long distance.

I had chosen to travel easy and to avoid the French péages (toll roads). The best road in that approach led me via the beautiful city of Besançon where I spent the night.

Besançon has a turbulent history. It has been Roman, Independent, French, Spanish, Austrian, etc. A lot of fights took place in this area. It is not surprising that there are many fortifications in and around the city which is conveniently located in a valley.

I intended to visit the huge citadel that is located on one of the mountains near the historic city center.

Fort Brégille
I had been there last night and enjoyed the great views on the city. But I got distracted by the fact that Besançon has a ghost funicular. That was something I had to check out! Especially since, back in the US, I had visited the site of the funicular of the city of Beacon twice, see here and here. Note that Beacon equals Besançon minus CN!

The funicular of Besançon was built in 1912, opened in June 1913 and connected the Beauregard and Brégille neighborhoods, 423 meters long and negotiating 100 meters. It reminded me of one of the many funiculars in Valparaiso in Chile, see here.

The funicular unfortunately did not make it until today.

Besançon
In 1987 it was decommissioned. Fortunately it was not removed. The tracks are still there, and les amis du funiculaire, (friends of the funicular) have restored one of the carriages. They are trying to revive the whole line once again.

While exploring and climbing the 100 meters to the summit station I discovered that the Brégille neighborhood owns one of the many fortresses of Besançon, Fort de Brégille a nice fortress that is even higher than the principal citadel of Besançon. When I got down again I took the car up to the fort to do some exploring there too. The beautiful historic city center was next. I rushed through since I still had to do some driving today.

I left the city with a special Doubs pie, a gift for my hosts in the south of France.

More pictures below.

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The decommisioned Funiculaire de B…
The decommisioned Funiculaire de …
Fort Brégille
Fort Brégille
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Besançon
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The lower station of the decommisi…
The lower station of the decommis…
One of the cars of the decommision…
One of the cars of the decommisio…
The decommisioned Funiculaire de B…
The decommisioned Funiculaire de …
The decommisioned Funiculaire de B…
The decommisioned Funiculaire de …
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Besancon
photo by: tamsynj