This comparatively little-known region bordering Switzerland, shares many of its neighbour's characteristics. The component departments are Haute-Saône (70), Doubs (25) and Jura (39), and its principal town is Besançon.
To the north lie the Vosges mountains, and the Jura to the south. Between the two is a supreme landscape of rolling farmland, dense pine forest and mountains.
Lacking the stature of the Alps, the Jura mountains are nonetheless popular with skiers and walkers, with many fine walking trails on the lower slopes.
In Franche-Comté, architecture and nature unite to create an exceptional canvas. An individual sense of aesthetics and unique traditions closely linked with the social and economic history of the region has given birth to an abundance of distinguishing characteristics, notably its traditional and religious architecture.
Four inscriptions are registered as World Heritage Sites: The Royal Saltpan of Arc-et-Senans, a masterpiece of industrial architecture; the citadel of Besançon; Notre-Dame-du-Haut, and the Saltworks of Salins-les-Bains.