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Astronomical Clock of Besancon Cathedral

Rue du Chapitre, 25000 Besancon, France
03 81 81 12 76
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Ranked #3 of 20 Attractions in Besancon
Type: Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Cultural
Owner description: Built between 1858 and 1860 by Auguste Lucien Vérité, the astronomical clock has a precise and...
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Attraction details
Type: Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Cultural
Owner description: 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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45 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Lausanne, Switzerland
Top Contributor
134 reviews 134 reviews
55 attraction reviews
58 helpful votes 58 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
Top Contributor
215 reviews 215 reviews
56 attraction reviews
48 helpful votes 48 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
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
9 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 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
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
16 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 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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Saint Louis, France
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
12 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2014

Admittance is permitted at certain times so don't think you can just show up at any time and get in. The room where the clock is located is quite small and cramped if there are many people there at the same time. If you like gears and animated characters you'll like this attraction. A visit only takes about 30 minutes.

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Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2014

A mechanical engineer's dream, but also beautiful work of art. Allow around 20-30 minutes for the talk

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UK
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2014

Amazing clock -you will not believe how many components -30,000 have gone into this -it tells time in different cities and has moving pictures. Make sure you get thee before 10 mins to the hour to get the full effect of the striking clock and all the changes!!!

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Stourbridge
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

As said by others only tours at 10 to the hour, usually a break for lunch. We went at 11.50. The entrance is at the base of the tower outside the cathedral on the side facing the citadelle. The mechanics of the timepiece are amazing with something like 40 dials telling all sorts of time related things including the time... More 

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St Germain-sur-gartempe
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
9 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

Well worth the climb to the Cathedral, but check times for tour. (usually 10 minutes to the hour. Session is in French, but an English translation card can be borrowed for the duration of the lecture.

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Limoges, France
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

This 'Horloge' was ordered by the Bishop of Besançon. It shows times and tides, sun, moon, planets and much more.Take a look inside. Tours 10 minutes before the hour, so you can see the saints moving. 3€ pp.

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