Home town of artist Gustave Courbet
A little town literally hanging over the banks of the River Loue, the steeply pitched roofs and wooden balconies of its houses reflected in the water. The Realist painter Gustave Courbet was born here in 1819, and his house on rue Froidière (near the bridge) contains paintings, drawings and memorabilia. Anglers will find a fishing museum at 36 rue Saint-Laurent.
There are several hotels which make a convenient base for exploring, and Syratu, place Courbet (tel. 03 81 57 10 82), can arrange bicycle hire, kayaking, rafting and climbing expeditions for outdoor types.
The exhilarating drive upstream from Ornans along the Vallée de la Loue affords plunging views down to the river from thickly wooded escarpments. The river is born at the Source de la Loue (22 km S of Ornans, off the D67) in a crash of thundering water pouring from a breach in the semicircular rock face.