Why you should visit the Doubs - How to get there - Find out more about the Doubs - The Irish connection- Where to stay in the Doubs - Where to eat - What to bring back from the Doubs - More on the Doubs.
This is the way the artist Gustave Courbet spoke about his valley, he was the muse and creator of the school of realism in painting. The countryside of the Doubs and chiefly that of Ornans (his birthplace) remains a strong element in his work. Courbet was a painter in the realist style, he can surprises and disturbs us as his painting searches the human soul.
At less than three hours from Paris by TVG, the Doubs is an ideal destination to get away from it all for the family or friends and lovers.
Both as a weekend destination or why not a longer stay to discover the pleasures of the Franche-Comté. Having visited the Doubs once there is a strong possibility that you will want to return.
All through the year, each season has multiple escapades to offer you.
How to get to Besancon and then to Ornans in Courbet country:
By TGV direct from Paris 2H10
By road from Paris 406 km
By road from Bauvais 380 km
By road from Mulhouse Airport 211 km
By road from Dijon 90 km
- Let yourself be enchanted by the region that gave birth to both Gustave Courbet and Victor Hugo, of which we celebrate 2012 the 210 anniversary of his birth and also the 150 anniversary his famous “Les Misérables”.
- To walk among the wonderful exhibitions of Courbet’s works in the place where they were originally painted.
- To spend the night in ‘la Chambre de Courbet’ in Flagey.
- To enjoy the nature and the rivers of the Doubs (for the fishermen the rivers are classed in premiere category) The River Loue flows through the Doubs region east of Besancon and is 126 km long.
- The Loue is one of the premiere rivers for fishing in Europe, it is also well known for canoe kayaking.
- Also worth visiting is the musée de la peche in Ornans which is the fly fishing capital in France.
- To discover the different flavors of the Doubs. The famous Absinthe, called the Pontarlier (habitually called Pont), also in the village of Moustiers the brasserie des
Deux Mondes where you can taste locally brewed beer.
-To follow the route du Comté (cheese), meet the shepherds of montbelliard and assist in the making of the cheese in one of the many cooperatives. Or visit the real cathedral of Comté , les Caves du Fort Saint Antoine. In 1966 Marcel Petite discovered this ancient military fort in the middle of the forest of Haut Doubs at 1100 meters altitude. The vaulted galleries of limestone covered in a thick layer of clay were ideal for aging this wonderful cheese (grand crues). There are more than 100,000 Wheels of cheese that mature for between 10 and 20 months in this Cathedral du Comté of Marcel Petite.
- To get your hands in the earth, and rediscover nature at la Ferme de l'Absinthe, a mountain farm devoted to raising Montbéliardes cows and the making of Morbier, Comté and Mont-d’Or cheeses.
Contact :06 84 22 55 58 - GAEC DE L'ABSINTHE - Route de la Champagne - 25300 LES GRANGES NARBOZ (3km de Pontarlier) : email@example.com
Nos coups de coeur au pays de Courbet (Ornans)
Le Jardin de Gustave :
Le Jardin de Gustave: A maison d’hote of character and comfort in town house 400 meters from the Courbet museum. Comfortable and quiet, ideal as a base for visiting the Courbet region.
Maryléne is an antique collector and the house is full of treasures. She is also a gourmet having run of her own brasserie in Besancon. The breakfast is generous with delicious homemade patisseries and jam.
Maison d'Hôte - LE JARDIN de GUSTAVE -
chez Marylène Rigoulo - 28 rue Edouard Bastide - 25290 - Ornans
Tel/Fax: 03 81 62 21 47
firstname.lastname@example.org - www.lejardindegustave.fr
La ferme de Coubet : The original farm of Courbet’s parents in Flagey. It has been tastefully refurbished with a café-library, an exhibition centre and concert area, with rooms gités 4 epis.
It is possible to sleep in what was the bedroom of Courbet or sleep in a room that overlooks the garden of the little village and dream of being one of the country folk of the village Flagey.
WHERE TO EAT:
- L'ALCHIMIE ( Restaurant)
L’Alchimie in Pontarlier, where Chef Pierre-Ivan Boos enchants us with his cooking. Working in the kitchen comes naturally and his early memories are of his grandmother cooking, he cannot imagine being other than a chef. He uses ingredients of his region which he colors with flavors of the world.
His wine list is extensive.
Restaurant L'Alchimie - 1, avenue de l'armée de l'Est - 25300 PONTARLIER
tel: 03.81.46.65.89 - email@example.com
- La CASCADE de Mouthier-Haute-Pierre : Entre Besançon et Pontarlier, la Cascade est une promenade gourmande dans le pays de Courbet.
D'abord la vue sur la vallée de la Loue car le restaurant de Madame Nelly Euvrard est planté sur un éperon rocheux qui surplombe la rivière.
La Cascade est également un hôtel. Il règne une atmosphère particulière...
It was an Irish woman, the very beautiful Joanna Hiffernan (born 1842) who became the muse for Courbet. She had previously been the artist James McNeill Whistler’s mistress before CourbeWhistler, Monet and Courbet painted together in the coastal village of Trouville where Jo posed for Courbet
A controversy still exists regarding whether it was the beautiful Johanna who Courbet painted in the Origin of the World. The first owner and no doubt the person who ordered it, was a Turkish Egyptian called Khalil-Bey (1831-1879). The painting was kept hidden for more than a century. In 1877 Lacan became the owner.
For further information of Joanna Hiffernan see Irish I presume, history of the Irish Diaspora in the Irish Club collection.
We should also talk about the ‘Green fairy’, the famous Absinthe friend to numerous artists, poets and made originally in the Doubs where is still done in the Armand Guy distillery. In this establishment in Pontarlier the drink is composed of absinthe, fennel, hyssop anise melissa and the secret that each distillery possess.
It was the Irish writer Oscar Wilde who gave it the name la fée verte or green Fairy: ""The first stage is like ordinary drinking, the second when you begin to see monstrous and cruel things, but if you can persevere you will enter in upon the third stage where you see things that you want to see, wonderful curious things." "Absinthe has a wonderful colour, green. A glass of absinthe is as poetical as anything in the world. What difference is there between a glass of absinthe and a sunset?" --Wilde
Also Dublin writer Bram Stoker attributed very special vertues to absinthe. There is a well known scene in Coppola’s Dracula devoted to their effect.
Gourmand specialties: Morteau and Montbeliard sausages, smoked meats in beugnon
Absinthe and Pontarlier, a difficult choice for an aperitif, the aficionados choose the Pont.
For the smokers the Doubs have several ateliers producing some fine pipes such as Saint Claude.
One of the best producers of fine chocolate Edouard Hilsinger, a real pleasure for the gourmands.
Pontarlier is situated at an altitude of 837 meters surrounded with greenery between Larmont Mountain and the plain of Arlier. With 20,000 inhabitants it is the second highest town in France. Sporting activity is very important here.
The Chateau de Joux where Mirabeau was imprisoned.
La Saline d'Arc et Senans : Every year hold a garden festival of major proportions, a wonderful exhibition.
One can walk amongst the most beautiful gardens created by the imaginations of architects, artists, professors and students from more than twenty establishments. These include the garden of the cure, the king’s garden, the peasant’s garden…..The garden is an invitation of the visitors to indulge in a botanical treasure hunt.
In winter snow lovers go to the family ski resort of Metabief in the Haut-Doubs : open all year.
Montbéliard : Celebrate Christmas and the New Year in Montbeliard with the Christmas market. Each year a country is chosen as guest of honour - Ireland and the Irish have fond memories of the reception at Montbeliard.
Visit the Chateau of the Ducs of Wurtemberg, or see a football match at the Bonnal stadium which is situated inside the Peugeot factory (Adventure Peugeot) to cheer on the Sochaud-Montbeliard team.
TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE BOUBS in FRANCHE-COMTÉ
Doubs Tourist Office: www.doubs.travel/
Ornans Tourist Office: www.valleedelaloue.com
Ornans Town: www.ornans.fr/
Courbet Museum: www.musee-courbet.fr/
The Red and The Black by STENDHAL
In his masterpiece The Red and the Black, Stendhal paints a picture of the social and political life of the town of Verrieres sur le Doubs. The book was written in the seminary in Besançon and was described by Somerset Maugham as one of the 10 greatest novels of the world, in fifth place in his Great Novellists and their Novels (1948).
PLACES TO VISIT CLOSE BY :
Visit Bourgogne and discover Dijon which is one hour from Besancon. In Autumn try touring the great Ducs and savour wonderful wines of Bourgogne, with their enchanting names : Aloxe-Corton, Montrachet, Pouligny, Chablis, Gevrey...
* We would like to thank Sylviane Dormier for helping us discover the Doubs , also all who helped us in discovering their region.
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