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Outstanding Towns and Villages, Saint-Claude

In the heart of Haut-Jura, in the Haut-Jura Nature Reserve,  you can find Saint-Claude, a small working-class town surrounded by mountains and rivers- the perfect place for outdoor activities!

 

Ancient History

It was thanks to its beautiful nature and thick forests that a hermit chose to move to Saint-Claude in 450 A.D.
Saint-Claude was a centre for religious activity, which started in the 12th century as its abbey attracted many pilgrims. A visit to the Saint-Claude Cathedral is a must. Its famous stalls, as well as the Abbaye Museum with its archaeological remnants, tell us the story about its religious past.

 

Key Artisans

Religious activity also led to the development of local artisan crafts such as wood turning, which originally created objects for worship, such as rosaries intended for pilgrims.

and the cutting of manufacture of pipes and the cutting of precious stones. The many artisan workshops along the Bienne, Tacon and Flumen Rivers that flow through Saint-Claude took advantage of the hydraulic power from the water.

 

Cultural Influence

Saint-Claude also has a major cultural site, the Maison du Peuple, which was once a cooperative as well as a Resistance location. Featuring a cinema, a visual arts space and a café, there are lots of organised events at the Maison du Peuple, making a huge contribution to the cultural influence of this small town, full of character.

 

Land of Leisure and Adventure

Given its geographic location, Saint-Claude is perfect for family holidays both in the summer and winter. In winter, the Monts-Jura resort and the nearby Hautes-Combes give full access to cross-country skiingdownhill skiing and other winter sporting activities such as dog sledding.

In summer, Saint-Claude is the starting point for many hikes in the Bienne valley, around the lakes region and in the sprawling landscapes of the Hautes-Combes.

Furthermore, the mountain streams that run through Saint-Claude are perfect for fishing.
Saint-Claude is one of Europe’s leading hotspots for canyoning.

The natural surroundings of Saint-Claude are remarkable, and visitors are often charmed by the little surprises of this Jura mountain town.

 

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