La Boucle is the historic heart of Besançon, an almost perfect loop coiled in a meander of the Doubs. Dominated by the majestic Vauban Citadel, the heart of the city is rich in an exceptional architectural heritage, the legacy of over 2000 years of history.
It is a concentration of remarkable buildings, dozens of statues, bridges, squares and streets... The second largest protected area in France (238 hectares), the whole of the historic centre has been protected.
Throughout history, this natural stronghold has demonstrated its exceptional defensive character. Geographical constraints have dictated the conditions for the establishment of the historic heart of the town and the development of its urban planning over the centuries. It is within the space constituted by the Loop and the Battant district, fortified by successive ramparts, that the city developed until the 19th century. Besançon was at the same time a military stronghold, a political centre and a religious capital. The great periods of its history have shaped its urban landscape, giving it all its current characteristics.