Dole in 1610 (drawing by E. Martellange)

Dole's preserved area is one of the most extended in France and offers
a remarkable architectural unity of the 17th and 18th centuries.
The visit is quite easy guiding the sightseer all along a pleasant as well as varied walk.

We need to recall some historical facts to understand and enjoy the architecture of this city

Important events in Franche-Comté related to the history of Dole :

58 BC : Caesar's victory over the Helveti and the Sequani
~355 : the province is conquered by the Barbarians
1156 : Frederick Barbarosa marries Beatrix, Countess of Burgundy
1366 : the term "Franche-Comté" appears for the first time
1422 : the University of Dole is founded by Philip the Good Duke of Burgundy
1477 : Louis XI occupies the province
1519 : Margaret from Austria becomes Regent of Franche Comté
1531 : Charles V reorganizes The Parliament at Dole. Nicolas Perrenot Granvelle is nominated "Maître des Requêtes"
1595 : invasion of Franche-Comté by Henry IV
1696 : heroic resistance of Dole to the armies of Condé
1668 : Louis XIV's invasion of Franche-Comté
1674 : second invasion of Louis XIV . Besançon is appointed capital city of the province
1678 : the province is incorporated into France

The dependency of Comté toward Burgundy dates back from Jane of Burgundy (1293-1349), Duke Robert II's daughter, who managed to impose a fair and humane administration over the province which became effective when her grand daughter married Philip the Bold : this was the beginning for Comté and more particularly for Dole of a century of presence of the great dukes of Burgundy. Thus Franche-Comté was born. John the Fearless had for some time the scheme of appointing Besançon as capital of the province until i 1451 when Philip the Good confirmed Dole in its supremacy as the siege of the provincial Parliament. But in 1477 when Charles the Bold was defeated at Morat, the province became the object of Louis XI's cupidity which Mary of Burgundy was unable to resist until 1491 when Charles VIII abandoned his father's scheme and freed Franche-Comté of all links with the king of France by the treaty of Senlis in 1493.
In some way Mary of Burgundy was to seal the fate of Franche-Comté for some time because it was to her daughter Margaret, born from her , that befell the task of governing Franche-Comté together with the Low Countries. Thus a period of somewhat peaceful prosperity began under her leadership and that Charles V. After his wife's death in 1530, Charles V was wise enough to respect this policy of peace by confirming Margaret as regent and by bestowing people of Comté (among whom the Granvelle family) the task of dealing with the most important affairs of this far away province which seemed to him doomed to fall into the hands of the king of France.Unfortunately Henri IV and Louis XIV were to put a tragical end to this beneficial time for the province. But this was another slice of history.

Mary's tree
There still remains a visible token of Mary of Burgundy in Franche-Comté : it is the linden--tree
(most likely the last one) that Charles the Bold had according to the custom planted at Bracon,
near Salins-les-Bains in the Jura, to celebrate his daughter Mary's wedding
with Maximilian of Austria on August 18th 1477

The linden--tree at Bracon in the fog of the first Jura plateau. (Photos : R. Berthet)©

Mary of Burgundy(1457-1482)
Portrait by Michael Pacher
Incomparable beauty ?
or an artist's idealizing eyesight
and brush ?

Louis XI (1423-1483)
King of France and duchess Mary's godfather

Comparing would be pointless. Fortunately !

The siege of Dole by Louis XI.(Tapestry from Bruges 1506) The Louvre museum.

The siege of Dole by Louis XIV (1636) : print by Nicolas Labbé relating
the unsuccessful siege of the city by the troops of Condé

A queer notice in Latin rue Carondelet suggesting the poor sanitary conditions in the 17th C
if it is not more likely a student's joke !

The collegiate church seen from down town

The Orphanage

CharlesV canal.


The Cistercian convent cloister

The Arquebusiers ' lodge

The Jesuits' chapel porch (1604)
Rare example of neo-classical style
(unknown artist)

It is in the religious buildings of the city
(see also the Holy Chapel of
the collegiate church as well as
the d'Andelot chapel at Pesmes)
that this taste for classical antiquity,
imported from Italy at the end of the 15th
century has found its most elaborate
expression, perhaps because it appeared
later than in the other parts of the country,
opposed as it was by the spirit of tradition
prevailing in the province.
Indeed this neo classical style finds its finest expression mostly
in the side chapels of the religious buildings.
It is difficult to find any Spanish influence in the architecture
of the time, as Charles V was clever enough to place the
government of this distant province in the hands of local dignitaries
-such as Nicolas Perrenot de Granvelle- as early as 1531
by reorganizing the prerogatives of the Parliament at Dole

The Hotel Dieu Cloister.

The Ladies of Ounans convent (Nodier highschool).
Built after Dom Duchesne's drafts (18th C).

Reflection in the Tanners' canal

The Froissard mansion house

Some people - including V. Hugo and many others- could see a Spanish influence in the neo-classical art in Comté. In fact the province has never been subjected to any Spanish influence as Charles V put the local administration in the hands of local dignitaries like Nicolas Perrenot Granvelle. We may at times discern some likeness with the art from Flanders or Lombardy, but nothing which might suggest Spanish art indeed.

Night reflection in Charles V canal

The former "Visitation" convent

The Hotel Dieu : balcony and watch-tower


The Arans gate under the snow (Precipiano's fortifiation, 1553)

Contemporary art is exhibited in public places

Polyphemus (Bronze by Appeles)

The Gossipping Women (bronze by Boetcher)

The "Tyre" : monumental sculpture by P Stampfli

"The Doubs and the Loue Rivers" : monumental spring by P Duc

The moon playing with th street lights
over the roof of the "Charité" convent

The Guijens spring where B. Constant,
C. Nodier and Mrs de Staël used to wander.

Cloister of the Cistercian convent.

The Collège de l'Arc street
On the left : the Jesuits' chapel porch.

The ancient city seen from the Tanners' canal

Dole by night

Dole at the turn of the 20th century (engraving)

The moon playing with th street lights
over the roof of the "Charité" convent

The "Visitation" convent.

The"Refuge"(18th C). Former institution for "wretched girls".

Now the new City Hall.


Hanging keystone in the Carmel chapel (17th C).

Monumental spring by J Attiret (18th C)

The Finex Arts museum (formerly The Officers' Lodge) 18th C

The "Ox Spring" marking the place where cattle used to be cut up in the Middle Ages.

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