|Jura Tourisme c/o Théâtre du Jura|
Route de Bâle 10
|Tel. +41 32 432 41 60|
The Canton of Jura, the newest of the Swiss cantons, was created only in 1979, after a long struggle for independence. Until then, for historical reasons, the entire French-speaking territory was part of the Canton of Bern. As its name suggests, it is located in the Jura, a mountain range that stretches across northwestern Switzerland, straddling France.
The "Jura Issue" is a whole saga of struggle for emancipation from the German-speaking canton of Bern. Historically, the territory had depended on the bishop of Basel since 999 and was assigned to the canton of Bern in 1815.
During the 19th century, the Jura managed to retain its language and culture despite Bernese centralism, but with tensions that intensified in the 20th century. A Jura Liberation Front (FLJ) even went so far as to use explosives!
Things were settled "the Swiss way"... with slowness, consensus and a bit of a rollercoaster ride. In 1974, a referendum on the creation of the canton of Jura was accepted by 3 districts out of 7. In 1978, all the Swiss cantons unanimously accepted the creation of the new canton, reduced to the 3 districts that voted in favour.
Three districts in the south and the German-speaking district of Laufen chose to remain in the canton of Bern, but the saga continued. In 1994, the district of Laufen, having realised that it had no "border" with the canton of Bern, wanted to be attached to the canton of Basel-Landschaft.
The small French-speaking town of Moutier continued to fight. After votes and many twists and turns, it will officially join the canton of Jura... in 2026!
However, this famous Swiss slowness has its charm and the Jura is a paradise for hikers and all those who know how to take the time to live... Don't miss a glass of damassine, the unique eau-de-vie distilled from small Damascus plums!
Porrentruy and Saint-Ursanne, two historic towns that we present to you in 360° in the Visual Guides, are a must. You'll love them!
Also worth a visit: the Franches-Montagnes, home of the horse of the same name, which is the result of out-breeding between native mares and Anglo-Norman stallions. It is the last representative of the light draught horse in Western Europe and the Marché-Concours in Saignelégier, held every year on the second weekend in August, is the high point for all lovers of these horses.