Ornans travel guide

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Visit Ornans (Burgundy-Franche-Comté, France)

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The village of Ornans is found south-east of Besancon in the Doubs department (Franche-Comte region) of France and below the Roche du Mont.

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France This Way review: this pretty riverside town is a practical centre for exploring the region and the pretty Loue River valley to the south-east of here.

Most visits will start next to the river: the picturesque houses along the river banks overhanging the mirror-surfaced river are the main highlight in Ornans. The best view is from one of the two 17th century stone bridges in the town.

Traditional fountain next to the bridge in Ornans

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. The bottom part of the belltower is original and in the roman style, while the remainder of the tower was added later, and the porch section around the tower was not 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. The grave of Courbet is in the town cemetery.

No visit to Ornans would be complete without climbing the hill behind the town (the Roche du Mont) for a scenic view across the town, river and surrounding forested hills. On one end of the Roche du Mont you can see the remains of the Chateau d'Ornans: this was an imposing castle in the 13th century but now little remains of the castle except some sections of wall and a chapel.

Houses along the riverside in Ornans

Attractions close to Ornans

Ornans Tourist Office is on Rue Pierre Vernier near the town hall and can suggest walks in the region around Ornans.

The Chateau Cléron to the 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.

Explore elsewhere in the Loue River valley. You can find more travel ideas in the Doubs guide and the Franche-Comte guide.

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Visit near Ornans with France This Way reviews

Chateau de Cleron

Chateau de Cleron

The gardens of the Chateau de Cleron can be seen next to the Loue River in the village of Cleron in Doubs

Chateau de Cleron guide


Lods is quite small but very pleasant to explore, in particular the village along the waterfalls on the Loue river

Lods guide


The small village of Mouthier-Haute-Pierre is well placed to explore the source of the Loue river and several other scenic highlights in Doubs

Mouthier-Haute-Pierre guide


The citadel, cathedral and some impressive 16th century townhouses are among the highlights to discover in Besancon

Besancon guide


The salt mines at Salins-les-Bains operated from the 13th - 20th century and are now an important local attraction and a UNESCO world heritage site

Salins-les-Bains guide


Pontarlier is usually visited as part of a trip to enjoy the local scenery and outddor activities, and has several monuments of note

Pontarlier guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Doubs

Address: Ornans, Besançon, Franche-Comte, 25290, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 47.105, longitude 6.1438

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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

The French version of this page is at Ornans (Francais)