Jura Mountains

The Jura Mountains (French: [ʒyʁa]; German: [ˈjuːra], locally [ˈjuːɾa]; French: Massif du Jura; German: Juragebirge; Italian: Massiccio del Giura) are a sub-alpine mountain range located north of the Western Alps, mainly following the course of the France–Switzerland border. The Jura separates the Rhine and Rhône basins, forming part of the watershed of each.

The name "Jura" is derived from juria, a Latinized form of a Celtic stem jor- "forest".[1][2][3] The mountain range gives its name to the French department of Jura, the Swiss Canton of Jura, the Jurassic period of the geologic timescale, and the Montes Jura of the Moon.

Jura Mountains
Landscape of tree-clad valley stretching toward mountainous horizon
Looking towards Lélex from near the Crêt de la Neige
Highest point
PeakCrêt de la Neige
Elevation1,720 m (5,640 ft)
Coordinates46°16′15″N 5°56′22″E / 46.27083°N 5.93944°E
Satellite image of the Jura mountains and Western Alps, including Lake Geneva, with major cities labeled
Satellite image of the Jura Mountains (upper left half of the image)
CountriesFrance and Switzerland
Range coordinates46°40′N 6°15′E / 46.667°N 6.250°ECoordinates: 46°40′N 6°15′E / 46.667°N 6.250°E


The Jura Mountains are a distinct province of the larger Central European uplands.

In France, the Jura covers most of the Franche-Comté region, stretching south into the Rhône-Alpes region. The range reaches its highest point at Le Crêt de la Neige in the department of Ain and finds its southern terminus in the northwestern part of the department of Savoie. The north end of the Jura extends into the southern tip of the Alsace region. Roughly 1,600 km2 (600 sq mi) of the mountain range in France is protected by the Jura Mountains Regional Natural Park.

The Swiss Jura is one of the three distinct geographical regions of Switzerland, the others being the Swiss plateau and the Swiss Alps. In Switzerland, the range covers the western border with France in the cantons of Basel-Landschaft, Solothurn, Jura, Bern (i.e., Bernese Jura), Neuchâtel, Vaud. Much of the Swiss Jura region has no historical association with Early Modern Switzerland and was incorporated as part of the Swiss Confederacy only in the 19th century. In the 20th century, a movement of Jurassic separatism developed which resulted in the creation of the canton of Jura in 1979.

The Swiss Jura has been industrialized since the 18th century and became a major centre of the watchmaking industry. The area has several cities at very high altitudes, such as La Chaux-de-Fonds, Le Locle, and Sainte-Croix (renowned for its musical boxes); however, it generally has had a marked decline in population since 1960.

The Jura range proper (known as "folded Jura", Faltenjura) is continued as the Table Jura in the cantons of Basel-Landschaft and Aargau, and further to Schaffhausen and into southern Germany towards the Swabian and Franconian plateaus.


The range is built up vertically while decreasing in size laterally (along a rough northwest–southeast line). This deformation accommodates the compression from alpine folding as the main Alpine orogenic front moves roughly northwards. The deformation becomes less pervasive away from the younger, more active Alpine mountain building.

The geologic folds comprise three major bands (lithological units) of building that date from three epochs: the Lias (Early Jurassic), the Dogger (Middle Jurassic) and the Malm (Late Jurassic) geologic periods. Each era of folding reveals effects of previously shallow marine environments as evidenced by beds with carbonate sequences, containing abundant bioclasts and oolitic divisions between layers (called horizons).

Structurally, the Jura consists of a sequence of geologic folds, the formation of which is facilitated by an evaporitic decollement layer. The box folds are still relatively young, which is evident by the general shape of the landscape showing that they have not existed long enough to experience erosion, thus revealing recent mountain building.

The highest peak in the Jura range is Le Crêt de la Neige at 1,720 m (5,643 ft).


The Jura range offer a variety of tourist activities including hiking, cycling, downhill skiing and cross-country skiing. There are many signposted trails including the Jura ridgeway, a 310 km (190 mi) hiking route.

Tourist attractions include natural features such as the Creux du Van, lookout peaks such as the Chasseral, caves such as the Grottes de l'Orbe, and gorges such as Taubenloch.

Both Le Locle and its geographical twin town La Chaux-de-Fonds are recognised as an UNESCO World Heritage Site for their horological and related cultural past. The 11th-century Fort de Joux, famously remodeled and strengthened by Vauban in 1690 and subsequently by other military engineers, is situated on a natural rock outcropping in the middle of the range not far from Pontarlier.

Part of the A40 autoroute crosses through a portion of the southern Jura between Bourg-en-Bresse and Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, which is known as the "Highway of the Titans".

See also


  1. ^ Rollier, L. 1903. Das Schweizerische Juragebirge. Sonderabdruck aus dem Geographischen Lexikon der Schweiz, Verlag von Gebr. Attinger, 39 pp; Neuenburg
  2. ^ Hölder, H. 1964. Jura - Handbuch der stratigraphischen Geologie, IV. Enke-Verlag, 603 pp., 158 figs, 43 tabs; Stuttgart
  3. ^ Arkell, W.J. 1956. Jurassic Geology of the World. Oliver & Boyd, 806 pp.; Edinburgh und London.

External links

Bianchini (lunar crater)

Bianchini is a lunar impact crater that lies along the northern Jura Mountains that ring the Sinus Iridum, in the northwestern part of the near side of the Moon. It was named after Italian astronomer Francesco Bianchini. The impact of this crater near the edge of the Jura Mountains deposited some material into the Sinus Iridum floor.

The rim of this crater is not significantly worn, although there is a small crater along the inner side of the eastern rim. Within the inner wall is a somewhat irregular floor and a small cluster of ridges at the midpoint. Portions of the inner wall have slumped toward the floor along the northern edges.

Bruno Jura Hound

The Bruno Jura hound is a domestic dog, developed in the Middle Ages for hunting in the Jura Mountains on the Swiss-French border.They are found in a variety of colors and have a broad head and heavy wrinkles, which differentiate them from the other Swiss hounds. It is known for hunting fox, hare, and sometimes even small deer. The Bruno Jura Hound is a skilled scent follower and is capable of following the slightest trace of a scent over the rough terrain of the Jura mountains. It needs firm handling if kept solely for companionship.

Its size is similar to that of the Schweizer Laufhund, but it differs in the broadness of its head. It is related to the Bloodhound. The life expectancy of Bruno Jura hound is 12–13 years. An adult hound can weigh anywhere from 34 to 44 pounds (15.5–20 kg) and is from usually 17 to 23 inches (43–58 cm) tall.

Also called the Jura Laufhund, this dog is an excellent hunter of fox, hare, and small deer. Closely related to the St. Hubert Jura Hound, its head resembles the neighboring French hounds form which it descends. Not common as a companion, the Bruno Jura Hound needs specialized training if it is to be kept for this purpose. Coming in a variety of colors, the Jura Hound was developed in the Jura Mountains in the Swiss-French border. Its rich coloring, broad head, and heavy wrinkles differentiate this dog from other mountain hounds.


The Bugey (Arpitan: Bugê) is a historical region in the department of Ain in eastern France between Lyon and Geneva. It is located in a loop of the Rhône River in the southeast of the department. It includes the foothills of the Jura mountains, and the highest point is the Grand Colombier. Bugey is divided into two sub-regions: Haut Bugey and Bas Bugey. The inhabitants of Bugey are known as Bugistes or alternatively as Bugeysiens.


The Chasseral is a mountain of the Jura Mountains, overlooking Lake Biel in the Swiss canton of Bern. With an elevation of 1,606 metres above sea level, the Chasseral is the highest summit in the canton of Bern outside the Alps. It is also both the northernmost and easternmost mountain reaching over 1,500 metres in the Jura Mountains. West of the summit is located the Chasseral Ouest (1,552 m), where runs the border with the canton of Neuchâtel. The Chasseral Pass is located further on the west.

The Chasseral is the fourth most topographically isolated mountain of Switzerland, although it is the first when considering only easily accessible summits. This results in a very extensive view over the other mountains of the Jura, the Swiss Plateau, the Alps, the Vosges and the Black Forest. The summit can be reached from the Chasseral hotel, where there is a bus stop.

Comtois horse

The Comtois horse is a draft horse that originated in the Jura Mountains on the border between France and Switzerland.

Doubs (river)

The Doubs (French: Le Doubs, French pronunciation: ​[du], German: Dub) is a 453-kilometre (281 mi) long river in eastern France and western Switzerland, left tributary of the Saône. Its source is near Mouthe in the western Jura mountains, at an altitude of 946 m. It is the tenth longest French river in France.


The Geissfluegrat is a minor summit east of the Geissflue, in the eastern Jura Mountains. It is located between the Swiss cantons of Aargau and Solothurn. With an elevation of 908 metres above sea level, the Geissfluegrat is the highest point in Aargau. It is also the easternmost summit above 900 metres in the Jura Mountains.

Ill (France)

The Ill (; French: [il]) is a river in Alsace, in north-eastern France. It is a left bank, or western, tributary of the Rhine.

It starts down from its source near the village of Winkel, in the Jura mountains, with a resurgence near Ligsdorf, turns around Ferrette on its east side, and then runs northward through Alsace, flowing parallel to the Rhine. Taking apart the Largue, also coming from the Jura mountains near Illfurth, it receives several tributaries from the west bank Vosges mountains after passing through Altkirch: the Doller in Mulhouse, the Thur near Ensisheim, the Lauch in Colmar, the Fecht in Illhaeusern, the Giessen in Sélestat, the Andlau near Fegersheim, the Ehn near Geispolsheim, the Bruche next to Strasbourg and the Souffel upstream from La Wantzenau before meeting with the Rhine downstream from Gambsheim's lock.

As the Ill nears the city of Mulhouse, most of its flow is diverted into a discharge channel leading to the Doller, protecting the historical center of the town from floods.

Flowing through the city of Strasbourg, the river forms part of the 17th-century fortifications and passes through a series of locks and channels in the picturesque old town, including the Petite France quarter, where its waters were once used to power mills and tanneries. One of these channels is the Canal du Faux-Rempart that, together with the main channel of the Ill, surrounds the Grande Île or historic centre of Strasbourg.

Jura (department)

Jura (French pronunciation: ​[ʒyʁa]) is a department of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté in the east of France named after the Jura Mountains.


The Jurassic period (; from Jura Mountains) was a geologic period and system that spanned 56 million years from the end of the Triassic Period 201.3 million years ago (Mya) to the beginning of the Cretaceous Period 145 Mya. The Jurassic constitutes the middle period of the Mesozoic Era, also known as the Age of Reptiles. The start of the period was marked by the major Triassic–Jurassic extinction event. Two other extinction events occurred during the period: the Pliensbachian-Toarcian extinction in the Early Jurassic, and the Tithonian event at the end; however, neither event ranks among the "Big Five" mass extinctions.

The Jurassic period is divided into three epochs: Early, Middle, and Late. Similarly, in stratigraphy, the Jurassic is divided into the Lower Jurassic, Middle Jurassic, and Upper Jurassic series of rock formations.

The Jurassic is named after the Jura Mountains within the European Alps, where limestone strata from the period were first identified.

By the beginning of the Jurassic, the supercontinent Pangaea had begun rifting into two landmasses: Laurasia to the north, and Gondwana to the south. This created more coastlines and shifted the continental climate from dry to humid, and many of the arid deserts of the Triassic were replaced by lush rainforests.

On land, the fauna transitioned from the Triassic fauna, dominated by both dinosauromorph and crocodylomorph archosaurs, to one dominated by dinosaurs alone. The first birds also appeared during the Jurassic, having evolved from a branch of theropod dinosaurs. Other major events include the appearance of the earliest lizards, and the evolution of therian mammals, including primitive placentals. Crocodilians made the transition from a terrestrial to an aquatic mode of life. The oceans were inhabited by marine reptiles such as ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs, while pterosaurs were the dominant flying vertebrates.


The Loue is a river of eastern France, a left tributary of the Doubs, which it joins downstream of Dole. Its source is a karst spring in the Jura mountains near Ouhans, which at least partly receives its water from the Doubs. This connection with the Doubs was only discovered in 1901 when a spillage from the Pernod factory into the Doubs was transmitted into the Loue .The Loue flows through the following departments and towns:

Doubs: Ornans, Quingey

Jura: Montbarrey


The Lägern (also spelled Lägeren; 866 m) is a wooded mountain of the Jura Mountains, stretching from Baden to Dielsdorf, about 15 km north-west of Zurich. The culminating point is located 1 km west of Hochwacht within the canton of Zurich, the border with the canton of Aargau running on a slightly lower summit named Burghorn (859 m).

The Lägern lies in the easternmost part of the Jura Mountains, east of the river Aare. It is the highest summit of the range lying between the Rhine, Aare and Limmat. Its location east of the Aare makes it topographically connected to the Appenzell Alps, by the chain of hills running north of Lake Zurich.

The mountain is entirely traversed by a trail following the crest from Baden to Dielsdorf. From Dielsdorf a road also leads to Hochwacht, where a radar is operated by Skyguide (municipality of Boppelsen).

Molasse basin

The Molasse basin (or North Alpine foreland basin) is a foreland basin north of the Alps which formed during the Oligocene and Miocene epochs. The basin formed as a result of the flexure of the European plate under the weight of the orogenic wedge of the Alps that was forming to the south.

In geology, the name "molasse basin" is sometimes also used in a general sense for a synorogenic (formed contemporaneously with the orogen) foreland basin of the type north of the Alps. The basin is the type locality of molasse, a sedimentary sequence of conglomerates and sandstones, material that was removed from the developing mountain chain by erosion and denudation, that is typical for foreland basins.


Moron may refer to:


Moron (ancient city), mentioned by the Greek geographer Strabo

Morón, Buenos Aires, a city in Greater Buenos Aires, Argentina

Roman Catholic Diocese of Morón, Argentina

Morón Partido, a district in Buenos Aires Province

Morón, Cuba, a city in Cuba

Moron, Grand'Anse, a commune of Haiti

Mörön, a town in Mongolia

Mörön, Khentii, a district of Khentii Province in eastern Mongolia

Morong, Bataan, a municipality in the Philippines formerly known as Moron

Morón, Venezuela, a town in northern Venezuela

Moron, later renamed Taft, California, a city

Moron (mountain), in the Jura Mountains

Morón Air Base, in Morón de la Frontera, Spain

Moron Lake, a lake in Alaska

Lac de Moron, a lake on the border between France and SwitzerlandOther uses:

Moron (psychology), disused term for a person with a mental age between 8 and 12

Morón (surname), people so named

Moron Phillip (born 1992), Grenadian footballer

"Moron" (Sum 41 song)

"Moron" (KMFDM song)

Moron, an extra gene in prophage genomes that do not have a phage function in the lysogenic cycle

Moron (Book of Mormon), a name and a location in the Book of Mormon

The Daily Mirror, a British newspaper nicknamed The Moron by Private Eye

Moron (food), a type of rice cake native in the Eastern Visayas, Philippines


The Oberaargau is the region that encompasses the upper watershed of the Aar River in the canton of Bern in Switzerland. On the north, lie the Jura Mountains, and on the south the hills leading to the Emmental

Administratively, the Oberaargau forms a district within the region Emmental-Oberaargau of the canton of Bern.

Historically (until 2009), the Oberaargau comprised the two administrative districts of Wangen and Aarwangen.

Parc naturel régional du Haut-Jura

The parc naturel régional du Haut-Jura (Jura Mountains Regional Natural Park) is a French regional natural park located in the southwest of the Jura Mountain Range in France, on the French-Swiss border.


Ronchamp is a commune in the Haute-Saône department in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté in eastern France.

It is located between the Vosges and the Jura mountains.


Sequani, in ancient geography, were a Gallic people who occupied the upper river basin of the Arar (Saône), the valley of the Doubs and the Jura Mountains, their territory corresponding to Franche-Comté and part of Burgundy.

Édel de Cléron

Édel de Cléron is a traditional French cheese of relatively recent origin which carries the name of the village where it is made, Cléron, in the valley of the Loue of the Doubs department in Franche-Comté.

By its taste, form and texture, it is close to a Vacherin Mont-d'Or.

It is made from lightly pasteurized cow's milk from the Doubs department. It is made all year long.

It is surrounded by a band, and packaged in a box, of natural aromatic pine bark from the Jura mountains.

Mountain ranges of France

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