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The Town Hall
The Town Hall
Coat of arms of Abbans-Dessus
Coat of arms
Location of Abbans-Dessus
Abbans-Dessus is located in France
Abbans-Dessus is located in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
Coordinates: 47°07′15″N 5°52′56″E / 47.1208°N 5.8822°E / 47.1208; 5.8822Coordinates: 47°07′15″N 5°52′56″E / 47.1208°N 5.8822°E / 47.1208; 5.8822
 • Mayor (2014-2020) Claude Mareschal
4.43 km2 (1.71 sq mi)
 • Density69/km2 (180/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
25002 /25440
Elevation268–470 m (879–1,542 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Abbans-Dessus is a commune in the Doubs department in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region in eastern France.

The inhabitants of the commune are known as Abbanais or Abbanaises.[1]

Note that this commune is not the same as Abbans-Dessous.


Abbans-Dessus is located some 20 km south-west of Besançon and 3 km north of Quingey on the hills between Le Doubs River to the north-west and the Loue river to the south-east in the west of the Doubs department. The D13 road from Byans-sur-Doubs to Chouzelot passes through the south of the commune. Access to the village is by the D107 which branches off the D13 and goes north to the village continuing north to join the D105 north-east of Abbans-Dessous. The commune is long and narrow oriented north-east with bands of forest lining the long borders and the rest of the commune is farmland.[2]

An unnamed stream rises in the south of the commune and flows north to join the Doubs river to join the Doubs river north-east of Abbans-Dessous. Abbans-Dessus is located midway between the Loue and Doubs rivers although it does not border on either river but overlooks the Doubs river.[2]

Neighbouring Communes and Villages[edit]


The name Abbans is based on a German man's name Abbo with the Germanic suffix -ing.


The village is built on a rocky outcrop overlooking the forest of Chaux and the Doubs valley. It is likely, in view of its strategic location, that it was a Gallo-Roman oppidum. Abbans-Dessus has a highly visible castle that is well known as the Keep where the Marquis Jouffroy d'Abbans, the inventor of the steamboat, largely conceived his work. There is mention made of the building in 1091. It belonged to the Lords of Abbans, important figures in the region's history. When, at the end of the 13th century, the sons of Philippe d'Abbans inherited the lordship, they created a "Front-Village" and a "Back-Village" The "Back Castle" passed to William and Richard built the "Front Castle" nearby. In 1290 Richard's daughter chose to sell the Front Castle to John I of Chalon-Arlay and in 1297 he granted Abbans a franchise charter.

Abbans-Dessus was a cereal crops and livestock farming area. Viticulture was established in the commune until the 19th century when it was totally eradicated by phylloxera.

Heraldry and Genealogy of the Squires of Abbans[edit]


Arms of the House of Abbans
The House of Abbans (or Habens) took its name from a castle in the Bailiwick of Quingey. It was one of four houses that had right of burial in the Church of Saint-Etienne in the town.

Argent, a cross in gules, with two roses the same in chief.[3]


Humbert Abbans (? - after 1134). Marriage and succession: His wife is unknown, he had two sons:

  • Hubald
  • Roger

Hubald of Abbans (? - after 1143), Squire and Lord of Abbans.

He was mentioned in a charter of 1143, in which the Pope Lucius II confirmed the rights of the Church of Saint-Madeleine in Besançon: "Dimidium Mansum, in castris Toragii vestre terre, quod expugnastis duello, contra Hubaldum of Habens".

Marriage and succession: His wife is unknown, he had two sons:

  • Louis I of Abbans
  • Olivier d'Abbans, knight, benefactor of the Cherlieu Abbey in the diocese of Besançon, father of Louis II.

Louis I of Abbans (? - after 1157), Lord of Abbans, knight and squire, he donated to the Abbey Notre-Dame of Billon and was confirmed in 1156. Marriage and succession: His wife is unknown, he had four sons:

Humbert II of Abbans (? - after 1182), Squire and Knight, Lord of Abbans, Purgerot, and Augicour. Marriage and succession: His wife is unknown, he had one son and one daughter:

  • Louis II
  • Julienne, she married Lambert of Cicon.

Louis II of Abbans (? - after 1235), squire and knight, Lord of Abbans. His seal attached to a deed of gift to the Cherlieu Abbey, of a horse, armed and with a banner in his arms. Marriage and succession: His wife is unknown, he had 3 sons and 3 daughters:

  • Philippe
  • Richard (? - 1281), Knight, Lord of Abbans, Villers-Saint-Georges, and Noironte.
  • Guillaume, a Knight
  • Nicolette
  • Willemette
  • Odilette

Philippe of Abbans knight, Lord of Abbans. In 1224 he joined a number of hostages that the Count of Chalon gave to Besancon to guarantee a treaty he had concluded with them. Marriage and succession: He married Richarde, daughter of Richard of Chay and Agnes of Arguel, by whom he had 1 son and 1 daughter:

  • Guillaume
  • Guillemette, the first wife of Henri de Conflandey and her second husband was Hugh de Montferrand.

Guillaume of Abbans (? - before 1336), Squire and Knight, Lord of Abbans. Marriage and succession: He married Isabella (? - after 1300), daughter of Pons of Cicon and Agnes of Pelousey, with whom he had one son:

  • Amiet

Amiet of Abbans (? - August 1314), Squire, Lord of Abbans. Marriage and succession: He married Isabella by whom he had that 1 daughter and 1 son:

  • Jeanne, she married Henry de Saint-Aubin (circa 1310 - ?), knight
  • Jean (? - 1370), Knight and Squire, Lord of Noironte and Châtillon-le-Duc, he married Marguerite, daughter of Thiebaud Belvoir III and Jeanne de Montfaucon, by whom he had a daughter who passed the chateau of Abbans to Guillaume of Arbon. By inheritance the chateau passed to the Joux family, then the Grammonts and the Jouffroys.


List of Successive Mayors of Abbans-Dessus[4]

From To Name Party Position
2001 2014 Michel Guelle
2014 Current Claude Mareschal

(Not all data is known)


Abbans-Dessus is a member of the Community of communes of Val-St-Vitois which was created on 14 December 2001.[5] It comprises 16 communes namely:


Historical population
Population change (See database)
1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
216 231 261 240 217 220 236 211 216
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
196 201 190 172 170 169 185 199 171
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
156 165 158 134 105 105 117 131 135
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2010 -
108 107 138 237 242 274 317 307 -

Sources : Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 (population without double counting and municipal population from 2006)

Sites and monuments[edit]

Notable people linked to the commune[edit]


See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]



  1. ^ Inhabitants of Doubs ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  2. ^ a b Google Maps
  3. ^ Genealogical History of the Squires of Salins
  4. ^ List of Mayors of France ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  5. ^ Community of communes of Val-St-Vitois website Archived 2013-05-29 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00101435 Chateau of Jouffroy ‹See Tfd›(in French)