Morez, a small town in the Bienne valley, is the location of the Musée de la Lunette spectacles museum, a poignant account of the work of the country folk that turned into a real industry.
Spectacles – Handcraft Turned Industry Over the Years
Morez, like many other towns in the Jura Mountains, has a river running through it. In this case, it is the Bienne, which continues downstream towards Saint-Claude. In the 16th century, mankind settled on the banks of the river. The strong current powered ironworks, creating all sorts of objects, beginning with nails. The scene was described by Stendhal in the opening pages of his novel as “Le Rouge et le Noir” (“The Red and the Black”).
From their beginnings producing nails, people applied their ingenuity to create a totally new object: spectacles. From 1820 on, several factories opened in Morez, and the town quickly became the capital of spectacles.
Spectacles Museum – Fun and Educational
This is where you can learn the profession of the spectacle maker and about the ancestral knowledge up to the most modern techniques, because Morez remains THE capital of glasses, with 10 million frames produced annually. A visit also provides an opportunity to discover the Essilor Pierre Marly collection. In this museum, we find a science zone devoted to how vision works, as well as a major collection of French and Dutch paintings from the 17th and 19th centuries, bequeathed by the collector Jourdain to Morez, his birthplace.