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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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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The clock operation is explained in detail regularly

This clock is almost hidden on the side of the Cathedral of St John. We were there when it's operation was explained in French ( we do not understand French) however an English... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 2 days ago
davidu2219
,
Sans Souci, Australia
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143 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 35: English reviews
Sans Souci, Australia
Level Contributor
42 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This clock is almost hidden on the side of the Cathedral of St John. We were there when it's operation was explained in French ( we do not understand French) however an English document was given to us to read. There is a small fee. The clock has so many parts to it for time, hour,day,month, year etc

Helpful?
Thank davidu2219
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Level Contributor
80 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

Every 10 minutes before the hour you can enter and will be introduced to this incredible specimen of historical craftsmenship. Dozens of time-related elements are worked with great dedication into the clock, that has dozens of round displays. Nice to see.

Helpful?
Thank Paul D
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
46 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This is a beautiful clock with superb details. Unlike in many locations, you can get very close to it to examine. Well worth the visit - check out the rest of the beautiful cathedral at the same time.

Helpful?
Thank Katri80
dublin
Level Contributor
57 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2016

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
119 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 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 

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Thank sannder
Wymondham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
62 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 174 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 4 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

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