Ornans is found south-east of Besancon in the Doubs department (Franche-Comte region) of France and below the Roche du Mont. The pretty riverside town is the centre for exploring the region and the pretty Loue River valley.
Your first stop will be the river, with the picturesque houses along the river banks overhanging the mirror-surfaced river. The best view is from one of the two 17th century stone bridges in the town.
There are several other sights of interest in Ornans as you explore. including the 16th century Church of Saint-Laurent, built on the site of an earlier church - hence the bottom part of the belltower is roman style, while the remainder of the tower was added later, and the porch section around the tower wasn't added until the 17th century. Inside the church is furnished with paintings, candelabra and other 17th century furniture.
Other notable highlights in Ornans include both the current Town Hall with arcades below and the original 15th century Town Hall (now called the Hotel de Grospian), a very attractive stone building.
Courbet, the French pre-impressionist painter, was born in Ornans and painted many pictures in the local vicinity. His house is now a museum containing a good number of works by the artist.
Climb the hill behind Ornans (the Roche du Mont) for a scenic view across the town, river and surrounding forested hills.
The Chateau Cléron (south-west of Ornans) is an attractive castle, and just one of the attractions along the scenic River Loue Valley. Another particular highlight is the village of Lods, classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France.
Address: Ornans, Besançon, Doubs, Franche-Comte, 25290, France || GPS: latitude 47.105, longitude 6.1438
The French version of this page is at Ornans (Francais)