The Olsen Road will be starting up again soon for my Christmastime travels to Dublin to see my daughter and her family. In the meantime I hope to find time to take some pictures and write a few posts about Besançon, the town I live in here in France. While I was travelling in the States these last few months several people asked me about this town that I’ve now lived in for more than forty years, so I thought I’d introduce you. And Besançon is a worthy travel destination in its own right, not just because I live here.
November 11, 2014
Here’s a view from my kitchen window one recent rainy morning:
Besançon is a relatively rainy town, known as the greenest city in France.
I quickly run downstairs to get a picture of the other half of the rainbow:
This will give you a better view of my neighborhood.
Later in the day I take a walk down to the ramparts, the few remaining vestiges of the old city wall and fortifications. Here we see some autumn colors along with the Tour Carrée, the square tower.
The Tour Carrée a little closer…
…and closer still:
The ramparts are a good place to go at the moment to see autumn colors:
The promenade leading down to the Doubs River:
The Promenade des Glacis along the top of the ramparts:
The ramparts are crisscrossed by some major traffic arteries…
This is a good way to see how the new and the old live together in Besançon. Of course, the afternoon of a major national holiday is not the time to see how busy these streets can be.
The ramparts are a also good place to take pictures of the town center. Here we see the Citadel de Vauban on the hills opposite. The Citadel is a UNESCO World Heritage site now. You can read more about it here.
And with the zoom:
I’ll take you up into the citadel some day soon. It’s a very interesting place.
The roofs and chimineys of Besançon are well known.
The ramparts are full of monuments and since the commemoration ceremony for the First World War took place this morning, wreaths have been placed at the foot of these statues…
…such as this one from a group known as the Gueules Cassées, the broken faces. These were soldiers who came home from the war extremely disfigured.
This monument is dedicated to all those who gave their lives for France and who are buried abroad:
Statues of soldiers…
…and La Mère Patrie.
Sculptures are also to be found here and there in the Promenade des Glacis. This one, by Jorge Soler, is dedicated to foreigners who fought in the resistance during the Second World War…
…and this one by the Senegalese sculptor Ousmane Sow…
…with a child hidden under the robe:
The form of the child is hard to make out, but the feet are very clear:
There is much more to see in and around Besançon. Little by little I’ll try to show you as much as possible.