Fort Griffon

This fort is on a hill at the northwest end of Besançon, on the opposite side of the city from the Citadel. It was named after an Italian engineer and architect called Jean Griffoni, who built a small fort on this site in 1595. (So it was not named after the mythical animal called the griffin, as I had incorrectly assumed.)

In 1680 Vauban completely re-designed and re-built Griffoni’s fort, as part of his overall plan for the fortifications of Besançon.

Fort Griffon was used by the French Army until the Second World War. Since then it has been used by various institutions for the training of teachers, currently the École supérieure du professorat et de l’éducation (ESPE).

Gate to Fort Griffon

Here at the gate to Fort Griffon they were advertising an exhibition called “The fabulous collection of Aliester de Naphtalène”, which I did not see because I arrived too late in the evening. Apparently it really is a fabulous collection of disparate objects, which is also sometimes shown as a performance for children.  

View from Fort Griffon

From Fort Griffon you have a view of Besançon and the Citadel, which is on a much higher hill at the opposite end of the city.

Street art by Hyuro, near Fort Griffon

This street painting near Fort Griffon shows four women with very long hair, lying on top of each other by some public steps just below the fort. It was painted in 2012 for the Bien Urbain Festival by an Argentinian woman who goes by the name of Hyuro. She is a prolific street artist who now lives in Valencia, Spain, and specializes in murals about women, often showing them in odd situations or protesting their assigned roles in society.

My photos in this post are from 2014. I revised the text in 2019.

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