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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 47°26′42″N 5°35′32″E / 47.445°N 5.59222°E / 47.445; 5.59222

Commune of Gray

Mairie Gray01.jpg
Town hall
Paris plan pointer b jms.svg
Map highlighting the commune of
Coordinates 47°26′42″N 5°35′32″E / 47.445°N 5.59222°E / 47.445; 5.59222
Country France
Region Franche-Comté
Department Haute-Saône
Arrondissement Vesoul
Canton Gray
Elevation 187–249 m (610–820 ft)
Land area1 20.26 km2 (7.82 sq mi)
Population2 6,681  (2006)
 - Density 330 /km2 (850 /sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 70279/ 70100
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population sans doubles comptes: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Gray is a commune in the Haute-Saône department in the region of Franche-Comté in eastern France.



Gray is situated on the banks of the Saône River. It is the last major town in Franche-Comté before the Saône flows into Burgundy.


It was, since the Middle Ages, an important river port, the main trading center in Franche-Comté.

Gray is believed to have acquired its name from an old landed estate in its vicinity owned by a family with Gallo-Roman origins bearing the name "Gradus", cognate with the Celtic "Grady" meaning "illustrious" or "noble".


The town includes many old buildings. An 18th century stone bridge spans the Saône river, connecting the main town with the settlement of Arc les Gray. Gray is a popular place for fishing and various water activities.

Gray's Basilica (Basilique Notre Dame) was built from 1478 to 1559, with a bell tower typical of Franche-Comté.

An art museum, the Musée Château Baron Martin, is housed in the Château of the Count of Provence, brother of Louis XVI, which in the 18th century replaced the fortress belonging to the Dukes of Burgundy. The 12th century "Paravis Tower" is the last remnant of the fortress and offers a panoramic view of the Saône Valley. The museum displays some 1200 pieces of art from the 15th to the 20th century throughout 24 rooms.

The Carmelite chapel (Chapelle des Carmelites) was built in 1667. Since 1978, it has held eight centuries of sacred art in Haute-Saone, including paintings, sculptures, and religious objects.

Gray is the site of France's National Esperanto Museum.

commune in the Haute-Saône department in the region of Franche-Comté in eastern France.

See also



Redirecting to Gray, Haute-Saône

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

GRAY, a town of eastern France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Haute-Saone, situated on the declivity of a hill on the left bank of the Saone, 36 m. S.W. of Vesoul by the Eastern railway. Pop. (1906) 5742. The streets of the town are narrow and steep, but it possesses broad and beautiful quays and has a busy port. Three bridges, one dating from the 18th century, unite it to suburbs on the right bank of the river, on which is the railway-station from which lines branch off to Auxonne, Dijon, Besancon and Culmont-Chalindrey. The principal buildings are the Gothic church, restored in the style of the Renaissance but with a modern portal, and the hotel de vine, built by the Spaniards in 1568. The latter building has a handsome facade decorated with columns of red granite. Gray is the seat of a subprefect and has tribunals of first instance and of commerce, a chamber of commerce, a communal college and a small museum. It has large flour-mills; among the other industries is the manufacture of machinery and iron goods. There is also a considerable transit traffic in goods from the south of France and the colonies, and trade in iron, corn, provisions, vegetables, wine, wood, &c., much of which is carried by river. Gray was founded in the 7th century. Its fortifications were destroyed by Louis XIV. During the Franco-German War General von Werder concentrated his army corps in the town and held it for a month, making it the point d'appui of movements towards Dijon and Langres, as well as towards Besancon. Gray gave its name to the distinguished English family of de Gray, Gray or Grey, Anschitel de Gray being mentioned as an Oxfordshire tenant in Domesday.

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