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Astronomical Clock of Besancon Cathedral

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Address: Rue du Chapitre, 25000 Besancon, France
Phone Number: 03 81 81 12 76
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Description: Built between 1858 and 1860 by Auguste Lucien Vérité, the astronomical...
Built between 1858 and 1860 by Auguste Lucien Vérité, the astronomical clock has a precise and complex mechanism consisting of over 30,000 parts and 11 movements. Worked by weights, some operate chimes and automata. The 57 faces provide a lot of information: calendars, the tides in 8 ports, eclipses… Visitors can look all around the clock and see its interior mechanisms. Open:> Tours at 9.50 a.m., 10.50 a.m., 11.50 a.m., 2.50 p.m., 3.50 p.m., 4.50 p.m., 5.50 p.m. Closed:> Tuesdays.> Wednesdays form 1st October to 31st March.> January.> 1st January, 1st May, 1st November, 11th November and 25th December. Admission fees: Adults : 3 €; Concessions (18 to 25) = 2,50 €; Free admission: minors under 18*; Free admission: 18-25 years old* (citizens of one of the 27 countries of the EU or are non-European permanent residents of France) * excluding school groups
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Check the specific times for visits ..

This is a fantastic old clock with a huge number of different faces for various readings. It's a must see. But they only do guided visits in one small room. And there are only a... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed August 9, 2015
Paul F
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87 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2015

This is a fantastic old clock with a huge number of different faces for various readings. It's a must see. But they only do guided visits in one small room. And there are only a handful of visits a day. We went at 14 45 after coming down from the Citadel.

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Pokolbin, Australia
Level Contributor
103 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2015

Amazing clock... tells you everything.. planet rotation, phases of the moon, years, months, days, hours, etc... it looks like millions of working parts and you can't but wonder at how someone hundreds of years ago thought this one up!

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London,frankfurt,barcelona,phuket,singapore,harare,johannesburg,cape town,francistown,gaberone,lusaka,calais,athens,patras,
Level Contributor
40 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2015

The cathedral houses the clock. However, the cathedral is fantastic. The clock is just out of this world and set up in a. Tiny room which makes its difficult for full length photos of its structure but take time to read the pamphlet and you will be amazed. You pay 3 Euros to see the clock. It helps towards the... More 

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western colorado
Level Contributor
195 reviews
78 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2015

Don't miss this. It is an amazing timepiece. You must show up at ten to the hour for the tour. The clock keeps track of tides in many cities, the lunar and solar eclipses, the time in many cities, and it is beautiful.

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charlottesville, United States
Level Contributor
35 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2015

There is a special presentation twice a day each day and we lucked into being there the first day of a young guide who was a Art History grad student who gave us a detauiled and fascinating explanation of the workings of this clock. It is not as big or elaborate as the one in Strasbourg, but well worth the... More 

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Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2015

A fascinating example of mechanical technology with moving statues, the planets and so many dials. Be sure to arrive on time -the guide starts at 10 minutes to the hour. And don't ask how much it cost to build!

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Lausanne, Switzerland
Level Contributor
222 reviews
111 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2014

The clock is at ground floor, in a small room that is opened by a nice guide, explaining its history and describing all its parts (it could take hours to observe all its details!) just 10 minutes before the clock springs to life. The movements of the religious character are tiny, but the clock is really worth a visit.

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Norfolk, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
225 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2014

This was an interesting experience. The mechanical clock is in a small anteroom at the base of the Cathedral. It took up about 1/2 of that small room. As an engineer I found it interesting but my family was less enthusiastic. There were five of us in our group and fortunately, except for the guide, we were the only ones... More 

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Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
45 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2014

There were 2 French and 4 English visitors in our tour but the guide spoke entirely in French. I assumed he did not speak English but after the presentation I asked a question and it turned out that his English was very good. Disappointing then that he did not offer any English as part of his presentation. Nevertheless the clock... More 

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Samoens
Level Contributor
39 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2014

A clock in a room ,,, but what a clock! A mad, overblown confection, but a great way to pass 20 min.

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