View of Ornans, Gustave Courbet
Architecture, Museums and Historic Monuments
For a millennium, the Château de Joux has commanded the mountain pass "Cluse de Pontarlier", which links, through the Jura valley, Burgundy and Switzerland, Flanders and Champagne, Italy, and the cold northern seas to the Mediterranean. Armies have used this natural passage through the Jura mountains since the Roman Empire. It developed as a major trade route in the XIII century, becoming the road of salt and monasticism.
Standing roughly three hundred feet above the mountain pass, the imposing Château de Joux is a synthesis of a thousand years of architecture and fortification history. First built of wood in the XI century, the castle was rebuilt in stone in the XII century by the lords of Joux. Though there have been improvements and repairs throughout its long history, Fort de Joux' most famous improvements are those of Vauban in 1690. It experienced many major European conflicts, including the 1476 passage of Charles the Bold, a 1639 occupation during the Thirty Years' War , the 1674 signing of surrender during the French conquest of Franche-Comté, and t was a major stage on the Abolitions Trail in the fight against slavery. From XVIII century onwards, the Château de Joux was utilized as a state prison, alongside the Bastille and the Château d'If.
Chateau de Joux
Set in the heart of Upper Doubs, the fortress offers an excellent hike, fascinating history and a rich museum of rare XVIII and XIX century weapons.
Middle Age Bridge near Le musee Courbet