Located on a plateau between the Vosges and Jura mountains, Belfort is a strategically important city near the French border with Switzerland. It was once the only feasible route into France, resulting in it being heavily fortified to guard against the invading armies who have targeted it for centuries.
Things to do in Belfort
Overlooking the city is the Belfort Citadel, a complex of fortifications and defensive systems that have existed since the 13th century. In the 17th century, a medieval castle was built by the Comte de Suze before the citadel was expanded by the renowned military architect Sebastien Le Prestre de Vauban. Marvel at the pink sandstone “Lion of Belfort” before soaking up the city views from the panoramic terrace.
Housed within the citadel’s barracks is the Musee d’Histoire et d’Archeologie, which showcases thousands of years of history dating back to prehistoric times. Discover what life was like in the region prior to the founding of Belfort and learn about the man behind the “Lion of Belfort”, Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi. In addition Gallo-Roman and Carolingian artefacts, there are paintings, engravings and old photographs on display.
Art enthusiasts can visit the Musee d’Art Moderne, which occupies a Belle Epoque mansion and is based on the personal collection of Maurice Jardot. It includes works by Pablo Picasso, George Braque and Andre Masson, as well as the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier. The collection reflects Jardot’s long-term relationship with Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, who was a leading patron of the Cubist movement.
Getting around Belfort
Belfort is around 40 minutes’ drive from Mulhouse and 45 minutes from EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg, which has flights to destinations across Europe. Regular trains connect to the Belfort railway station and travel throughout the city, connecting most of its attractions.