History of the Fort de Fontain 

A fort built in four years to offer protection against the risk of Swiss invasions!

Built between 1874 and 1878 on the Fontain ridge at an altitude of 507 metres, the “Séré de Rivières” fort was intended to extend the barrier created by the Montfaucon defensive wall against invasions from the Jura plateau.

This fort, like all those in the Besançon perimeter, actually never did have any defensive role to play between its construction and abandonment by the army.

Besancon Fontain07 



A fort embedded in the rock for up to 240 men

The fort was built on two levels,

each consisting of seven bays.

The lower level was reserved for logistics: storage of provisions and equipment, bread ovens, toilets, and the upper level for bedrooms.

230 to 240 men, including a dozen officers, could be accommodated there.



The doubly honoured Séré de Rivières fort

President Mac Mahon visited the Séré de Rivières fort in person!

On 13 September 1876, the nearly completed fort received a visit from the President of the Republic, Marshall Mac Mahon, who inspected the troops before visiting the fort.

The Boulanger Law of 1886 then christened the Fort de Fontain “Fort Marulaz” in honour of the General Defender of Besançon during the siege of 1814 against the Austrians.

To commemorate these events, the three apartments at the Maison du Fort are respectively named “Mac Mahon”, “Marulaz” and "Séré de Rivières".


A distinct architectural heritage 

The Fort de Fontain bears witness to the military history of the late 19th century and is a key part of its architectural heritage.

With the efficient assistance of AVALFORT (Association for restoration of fortifications in Greater Besançon) we have restored both the stonework and the greenery.

We are considering ways to secure access and limit the damage done to the fort in the past, as we know that a full-scale renovation is not financially possible.



The Fort de Fontain house is ready to welcome you, your family and friends...

The Municipality became the owner of the fort after the war and sold it to a building contractor in 1965. This contractor built a house on top of the fort and opened a restaurant, which did not last long, but the site was damaged by the removal of protective earth and some of the cladding stones were sold.

As close neighbours, Marie-Anne and André Spony purchased the land and the house in 2008, becoming de facto owners of the fort!

The fully renovated house with three apartments, classified as 4-star gîtes, sits on top of the underground fort!

This fully renovated house, sitting on top of the underground fort, awaits you! André gives an exclusive tour of the fort to guests staying at the three gîtes.

The Fort is not open to the public in fact as there is a danger of falling stones in some places.

Besançon Tourist Office offers safe tours with a tour guide. Every year, on the third weekend in September during the heritage days, we organise tours of the fort with the support of Avalfort.


 vue densemble de la maison



Logo et dessins : Dorothée CHAILLET-PANISSET
2024  La Maison du Fort de Fontain : 3 gîtes de charme, au calme, perchés sur un fort