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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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Magnificent

Extraordinary piece of engineering. Would have liked to her something about it but the guide who was in full flow in french ignored us completely.

4 of 5 starsReviewed 6 days ago
alivealiveo
,
dublin
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131 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 32: English reviews
dublin
Level Contributor
49 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Extraordinary piece of engineering. Would have liked to her something about it but the guide who was in full flow in french ignored us completely.

Helpful?
Thank alivealiveo
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
114 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2016

We walked all the way up to the cathedral and the to the entry of the actual clock entry door only to read a notice in French , which we worked out , it was telling us it was closed on Tuesday, and today was Tuesday.

Helpful?
Thank Alan F
Besancon, France
Level Contributor
67 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2016

I have never seen anything like this! How interesting can a clock be? Well, this one blows every other clock out of the water! It tracks over 200 different 'times', including tides, moon phases, holy days, etc. Built over 200 years ago, and it is supposed to be accurate for over 10,000 years! It has so many bells and whistles,... More 

Helpful?
Thank finlandadventures
Canton of Vaud, Switzerland
Level Contributor
90 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2016

This clock is perfectly functional and it is still used for actuating the bells. It's a mechanic watch with 7 weights. These weights must be lifted twice per day. It could technically hold for one day but it's safer and less tiring to do it more often. The level of complexity is outstanding and given the times when it was... More 

Helpful?
Thank sannder
Wymondham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
62 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2016

There was only 1 French person and 2 of us English visitors but the guide spoke entirely in French and she ignored us. I do not know if she spoke any English. It would have been nice to have been given a little more information about the clock but we took a good look at it even around the back... More 

Helpful?
Thank PTMCF
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2016

I went to see the clock in October and was lucky to get the 'guided tour' for free as I have a student card...our guide was animated and friendly and knew the mechanics inside out. He also translated some words into English for us. We were in the room for 20 minutes or so, and it was a very engaging... More 

Helpful?
Thank Grainne P
Besancon, France
Level Contributor
67 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2016

I have been twice to see this clock, and each time I am amazed at how the intricate mechanism was created, and all the different functions it has. You come near the top of the hour, so that you can watch the functions change and move when it strikes the hour. Very insightful, and a wonderful memory.

Helpful?
Thank finlandadventures
Plano, Texas
Level Contributor
45 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2016

If traveling anywhere near Besancon, don't miss this cathedral & clock. It is fascinating! Besancon is known as the "city of time". There is also a wonderful jeweler in town called Maty. They sell an array of watches that are locally made and very affordable for a high quality watch. I would take one of their watches over a Rolex... More 

Helpful?
Thank Debra B
bonn
Level Contributor
269 reviews
96 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2015

We stumbled across this while visiting the cathedral and were impressed with the complexity of the clock and enjoyed the explanations (in excellent English) of the curator.

Helpful?
Thank Peter S
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
131 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2015

We arrived at the cathedral to find the clock could not be viewed but the curator was kind enough to suggest we return later in the day. We really enjoyed our tour of this interesting instrument. The guide made a real effort to make sure we understood what she was aying and we appreciated this.

Helpful?
Thank M-and-H10

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