Reconversion of the Saint-Étienne chapel for an exceptional offer

The Citadel World heritage public body (EPC-PM) - May 2014


In May 2014, a new multimedia show was inaugurated at the Saint-Étienne chapel. 300° projections of historical documents, spectacular real-life views and computer-generated images, completed by an actor and sound effects, offer visitors a unique 14-minute experience for understanding the history of the citadel and the impressive construction site of the 17th century.

The commitment to reconverting the building means that temporary exhibitions and receptions can be held in total respect for the site’s authenticity. The specifications therefore included the rapid reversibility of the theatre installations, particularly with the use of opaque curtains for the eight 7.5 metres high windows and mechanised gantry cranes for the sound and projection equipment.

The heating method chosen was blown-air convectors, which, of the various methods studied, had the best performance in terms of needs for the performance equipment and comfort requirements for receptions and events, without denaturing the monument.

Finance plan

Plan Financier du spectacle

Maîtrise d’ouvrage : Etablissement public Citadelle – Patrimoine mondial (Besançon) AMO : Agence ABAQUE (Paris)

Maître d’œuvre : CLAP 35, société de production audiovisuelle

Financement :

  • Conseil Régional: 198 000€
  • Conseil Général: 180 000€
  • Communauté d’Agglomération du Grand Besançon: 180 000€


  • (Groupe Bonnefoy,Moyse Développement, Egis Rail): 170 000€
  • Emprunt: 520 000€


 Plan Financier des travaux

Maîtrise d’ouvrage : Ville de Besançon (Département Architecture et Bâtiment)

Maître d’œuvre : Atelier CAIRN

Financement :

  • DRAC: 66 890€ (50 % des dépenses sur les travaux de restauration Monument Historique)
  • Conseil Régional: 21 810€
  • Conseil Général : Budget 2014 (montant non défini)
  • Ville de Besançon :solde de l’opération



Negative aspects

Given the limited time for carrying out the work (two years), the drawing up of various specifications was subject to intense consultation, whose conclusions satisfied all parties despite some small concessions that needed to be made by the scenographer, the Regional Board for Conservation of Historical Monuments, the town departments responsible for the restoration and renovation work on the chapel and the public body.
The success of this theatre space is an embodiment of the At Fort project motto: preservation through development.