A social event is planned on Wednesday July 4th afternoon. It will consist in an excursion in the city of Besançon, and a boat trip dinner.
Besançon is the capital and principal city of the Franche-Comté region. It has a population of about 237,000 inhabitants in the metropolitan area. Located close to the border with Switzerland, it is the capital of the department of Doubs. Once proclaimed first green city of France, it has been labeled a "Town of Art and History" since 1986, and has been listed at UNESCO as a World Heritage Site as part of the Vauban fortifications.
The city has one of the most beautiful historic centers of any major town in France. A broad horse-shoe of the river Doubs, "la Boucle", encircles the old town, while Vauban's imposing Citadelle blocks off the neck. The historic center presents a remarkable ensemble of classic stone buildings, some dating back to the Middle Ages and others to the Spanish Renaissance. Among the most visited historic monuments are: several Roman remains, the 16th century Palais Granvelle, Vauban's citadel (a.k.a. Citadel of Besançon), the Cathedral of St. Jean, several Spanish Renaissance-style buildings, the Église de la Madeleine, and the river frontage.
The Citadel of Besançon is one of the military architect Vauban's masterpieces. The Citadel occupies eleven hectares on Mount Saint-Etienne, one of the seven hills that protect Besançon. Mount Saint-Etienne occupies the neck of an ox-bow formed by the river Doubs, giving the site a strategic importance that Julius Caesar recognized as early as 58 BC. The Citadel overlooks the old quarter of the city, which is located within the ox-bow, and offers a magnificent view of the entire city and its surroundings. The fortification is well preserved. Today it is an important touristic site (over a quarter of a million visitors per year) due both to its own characteristics and because it is the site of several museums. These museums include a museum of the Resistance and deportation, a museum focusing on traditional life in Franche-Comté and the region's archeological history, and a museum of natural history that includes a zoo, an insectarium, an aquarium, vivariums, a noctarium, a climatorium, a pedagogical exhibit on evolution, botanical gardens, and a children's farm.
Besançon is the seat of the Université de Franche-Comté. It is the second oldest university in France, created in 1423, after La Sorbonne in Paris. As of 2006, there were approximately 20,000 students enrolled at the university, including around 3,000 foreign students. The University of Franche-Comté is a comprehensive university with college in humanities, language, medicine, law, economics, sports, sciences and technology (mathematics, biology, physics, electronics, optics, mechanical engineering, and, of course, computer science). Much of the international visibility in pure and applied science at the University of Franche-Comté comes through the CNRS Institute FEMTO-ST with its expertise in numerous fields, including physics, optics, mechanics, time-frequency, and, since January 2012, a computer science department (formerly known as the "Laboratoire d'Informatique de l'université de Franche-Comté" - LIFC).
A bus will take the participants at 14:00 (after the lunch) in front of the Azureva Center to reach the city center of Besançon. A guided walk tour of the city will then be proposed to the participants, to visit this beautiful place. At the end of the day, the bus will take the participants to reach the town of Villers-le-Lac. A banquet dinner will then take place during a boat trip at sunset on the Doubs river, to reach the Saut du Doubs, a waterfall of the Doubs, located in an enchanted and peaceful landscape.
Most of the descriptions of this page are taken from www.wikipedia.org