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Switzerland TravelSwitzerland / Jura Mountains

Jura Mountains in Jura canton

The Jura Mountains are mountains to the north of the Alps
The Jura Mountains are mountains to the north of the Alps. They separate the Rhone and Rhine rivers and help form watersheds for each of them. In Switzerland, the Jura range covers the border between Switzerland and France and the range is distributed over the cantons of Schaffhausen, Vaud, Neuchatel, Bern, Jra, Solothurn, and Basel, and Basel-Landschaft.

In the 18th century, the Jura were the center for the Swiss watch making industry. The result is fairly large cities at high altitudes. Some of these cities, industrialized since the 1700s, are Le Locle, Sainte-Croix, and La Chaux-de-Fonds. Since 1960, however, the population has fallen. The Jura Mountains make up one of the three geographical regions of Switzerland. To the east is the Swiss Plateau, and to the east and south are the Swiss Alps.

The largest lake in the Jura range is Lac de Joux. Tourism in the Jura is quite lucrative, with plenty of tourist activities offered, including skiing, cross-country skiing, and hiking. The Jura Ridgeway is a sign-posted trail over 300 km long. Sites tourists shouldn't miss include Chasseral, a lookout peak, the Grottes de l'Orbe, which are caves, and gorges, like Taubenloch.

The importance of the Swiss watchmaking history in this region has resulted in the towns of Le Locle and La Chaux-de-Fonds becoming UNESCO World Heritage Sites for their clock and watch making history.

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