Dole, Franche-Comte: tourism & sightseeing
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Dole is found in the Jura department, in the Franche-Comté region of eastern France, between Dijon and Besancon on the Doubs River. A small town that merits a wander, Dole was the nerve-centre of Franche-Comte until 1422, when the power was transferred to Besançon. It is the old town that you will be interested in during your visit.
We suggest you start a visit a little way from the collegiale and the town centre - on the other side of the river! The best view of the Collegiale Notre-Dame is from between the canal and the river below Dole, looking across the town and rooftops.
Dole Collegiale Church
The Collegiale-Notre-Dame is much the most important monument in Dole. It is found in the centre of the old town, and also dominates the skyline.
Dating from the medieval period when Dole was the most important local centre (from 1386 - 1676), the building was constructed in gothic style over the course of much of the 16th century (1509 - 1586).
The collegiale has several notable highlights to discover. On the outside, it is the large belltower that you will notice first, and there also are a couple of entranceways of note, in particular the decorative western entrance added in 1565.
Inside the Dole Collegiale-Notre-Dame, as well as the main church itself, you can admire the substantial 18th century organ, and some decorative articles of the renaissance style.
There are a great deal of stained glass windows (added 1840 - 1950 to replace missing original windows), while another highlight is the statue of the 'Virgin with Child'.
The greatest highlight inside Dole collegiale is just to the right of the altar - the Sainte Chapelle du Miracle de Faverney. Built in the early 17th century to house a relic that was miraculously saved from a fire at Faverney Abbey, the chapel is richly decorated in the renaissance style under a vaulted roof.
The altar, wall paintings and stained glass windows in the chapel were added over the following centuries.
Note: Louis Pasteur was baptised here in 1823.
Elsewhere in Dole
The narrow streets of the old town in Dole, clustered around the Collegiale Notre Dame de Dole (the church), contains many attractive houses dating from the middle ages onwards, and numerous shops and cafes, and it is a pleasant town to explore.
After exploring the streets around the collegiale visit the part of the town along the canal, known as Little Venice.
Louis Pasteur was born in Dole, and there is an informative museum about his works in the house where he was born near the canal. Following the canalside walk behind Pasteur's house you can also see examples of early industry such as leather tanneries.
To the east of Dole there is a very large mixed deciduous forest, mostly oak, called the Chaux Forest, which has a wide range of walking and picnic possibilities.
Photos of Dole
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Map of Dole and places to visit
Visit near Dole with France This Way reviews
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Dole has received the following tourist classifications: historical protected town centre' (secteur sauvegardé); listed town of Art and History
Address: Dole, Jura, Franche-Comte, 39100, France || GPS: latitude 47.092, longitude 5.49
Plan your visit to Dole, Franche-Comte
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Jardin à la Faulx: remarkable garden
- Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans: heritage site (23km)
- Jardin du château du Talmay: remarkable garden (30km)
- Arbois: town of art and history (30km)
- Salins-les-Bains: town of art and history (34km)
- Quetigny: ville fleurie 4* (37km)
Market days in Dole, France
Regular market(s) are held in Dole each Tuesday & Thursday & Saturday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Dole (Francais)