Gray, Haute-Saône

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Gray hotel de ville.jpg
Gray Maison place Charles-De-Gaulle.jpg
Gray - Collège des Jésuites 01.JPG
Gray - Basilique Notre-Dame 02.JPG
Palais de justice de Gray.jpg
Gray pont.jpg
Coat of arms of Gray
Location of Gray
Gray is located in France
Gray is located in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
Coordinates: 47°26′42″N 5°35′32″E / 47.445°N 5.5922°E / 47.445; 5.5922Coordinates: 47°26′42″N 5°35′32″E / 47.445°N 5.5922°E / 47.445; 5.5922
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Christophe Laurençot
20.26 km2 (7.82 sq mi)
 (Jan. 2019)[1]
 • Density270/km2 (710/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
70279 /70100
Elevation187–249 m (614–817 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Gray (French pronunciation: [ɡʁe] (listen)) is a commune in the Haute-Saône department, region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, eastern France. It has a population of 5,553 inhabitants (2019).[2]


Gray is situated on the banks of the river Saône. It is the last major town in Haute-Saône before the Saône flows into Côte-d'Or.


In the Middle Ages it was an important river port and 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", a cognate of the Celtic "Grady" meaning "illustrious" or "noble".

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 Besançon.[3]


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1968 7,789—    
1975 8,805+1.77%
1982 7,723−1.86%
1990 6,916−1.37%
1999 6,773−0.23%
2007 6,175−1.15%
2012 5,716−1.53%
2017 5,512−0.72%
Source: INSEE[4]


The town includes many old buildings. An 18th century stone bridge spans the Saône river, connecting the main town with the settlement of Arc-lès-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-Saône, including paintings, sculptures, and religious objects.

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


There is a bus station.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Populations légales 2019". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 29 December 2021.
  2. ^ Téléchargement du fichier d'ensemble des populations légales en 2019, INSEE
  3. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Gray" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 395.
  4. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE