Dole was the capital of the old Free County of Burgundy, located on the banks of the Doubs and the Rhône-Rhine canal and next to the second largest forest in France (forêt de Chaux). It was the birthplace of the scientist Louis Pasteur and its old centre is home to some rustic if somewhat run-down 16th century architecture.
Dole is also home to one of two main production sites of Laughing Cow cheese (La Vache qui rit).
In the 11th century, the Count of Burgundy decided to build a castle where Dole is now situated in order to monitor traffic on the river, with people later settling around the castle. In the 13th century, Dole was made the capital of the County of Burgundy and experienced a golden age, with a parliament founded in 1386 followed by a university. Like much of the historical county, Dole was often subject looting and attempts at conquest (particularly by France and Switzerland), and was unsuccessfully besieged by the King of France in 1479 without success. Count Charles V of Burgunday later modernised its fortifications in 1530. Finally, the county was annexed to France in the Treaty of Nijmegen in 1698, with the city of Besançon made the capital of the region of Franche-Comté.
In 1967, a protected area of 114 hectares was established, covering the entire old town and its surroundings.
Dole is served by an SNCF station (Gare de Dole-Ville) connecting the city to the rest of the region, as well as by the A36 and A39 motorways. Flixbus also runs a number of lines that stop near Dole at the A36 motorway junction at Authume and the A39 motorway junction at Choisey. To get from these stops to the centre of Dole you will have to take bus lines 12 and 1 respectively.
The nearest airport is Dole-Jura Airport.
The old town is very walkable, and while a local bus network serves the suburbs (https://www.reseau-tgd.fr/Pratique/Plan-et-horaires/Plans-et-Horaires), most of the bus lines are very infrequent with several even requiring reservation in advance. A single adult ticket costs 1 euro which can be bought directly from the driver.
The Quartier des Tanneurs is a picturesque canalside area.
- 1 Hôtel-Dieu de Dole. Former hospice now home to a media centre.
- 2 Museum of Fine Arts. Art gallery from the 18th century
- 3 Maison natale de Louis Pasteur. Museum dedicated to Louis Pasteur
- 1 La Demi-Lune, 39 Rue Pasteur. Homely upmarket restaurant serving traditional Franc-Comtoise cuisine, including several options for vegetarians.
Saint-Claude via the Ligne des Hirondelles