Have you heard of Dole, the Little Venice of Jura? Just a 2 1/4-hour TGV train ride from Paris, this is THE weekend destination for heritage enthusiasts. It's full of architectural gems to discover along the Chat Perché trail! You'll see the Canal des Tanneurs, where the famous Louis Pasteur was born, and the museum devoted to this scientist. Round off your weekend with a boat trip on the river, or a bike ride along the EuroVélo6® cycle path.
Historic centre and walking itinerary
Time to explore the historic centre of Dole. When it comes to heritage and culture, Dole is full of Renaissance features from the town's golden age when it was the region's capital. Make sure you miss none of these architectural gems by following the Chat Perché trail (enquire at the tourist office).
Spotlight on two of the town's key monuments:
- the Notre Dame collegiate church, with its impressive dimensions and 75-metre steeple. You can walk to the top of the tower to enjoy the reward of a 360° panoramic view over the town and the surrounding countryside.
- the old hospital (hôtel dieu), also worth seeing. It has been remarkably well restored to highlight its elegantly understated architecture.
Notre-Dame collegiate church of Dole
Louis Pasteur and a canal port
A visit to the house of Pasteur
Head for the tanners' district. It's easy to picture these banks bustling with activity as far back as the Middle Ages. The tanners' houses had very wide doorways to their cellars which let in the water from the canal that the artisans used to tan their leather.
Among these houses is that of Jean-Joseph Pasteur, father of a certain Louis…Indeed, this is where Pasteur, the scientist, was born in 1822.
Louis Pasteur remains in the collective memory as the scientist who discovered the rabies vaccine.
But the scope of his research was much wider and covered many different fields (hygiene, microbiology, chemistry, etc.).
To fully appreciate the works of this saviour, a tour of the house where he was born is a must-do. You'll even discover that Pasteur had artistic talent too, as you'll see for yourself from the pastel portraits he painted when he was a teenager.
Dole also has a canal with a lovely port brought to life by dozens of pleasure boats and a decidedly riverside atmosphere, just a stone's throw from the town centre.
There's nothing quite like a peaceful ride in an electric boat or pleasure boat, for a green tour of the former capital of Franche-Comté from a brand new angle. Another option is a bike ride along the EuroVélo 6® cycle path that follows the canal.
Locate all places to visit on the map
Bruno - Parisian tourist
We are two families, one from Paris, the other from Poitiers. There are 12 of us in all. We're amazed because we thought Dole was just a small town but there's actually lots to see here. In fact we'll be coming back. Today we're just walking around and scouting for a future visit. We're following the "Chat Perché" trail and the children are having fun guiding us. It gets them involved and makes the walk less boring for them.