The Jura is a mountain range in the north of the Alps on the Swiss-French border. Most of the sub-alpine mountains are in Switzerland, with a significant part of the western part in France. It stretches for around 360 kilometers between the Rhine and the Rhone. Geneva is home to the highest peaks of the Jura. At 1,718 meters above sea level, Cret de la Neige is the highest peak in the mountains. Other significantly high peaks are Le Reculet, La Dole, and Mount Tendre, with the three peaks rising over 1,680 meters. The western slopes of the mountains drain through the Rhone, while the northern slopes drain through the Doubs river.
The Jura is one of the most important mountain ranges in Western Europe and lies on the Swiss-French border. The mountain range lies on the north side of the Alps and is a distant part of the Central European Central Uplands. In France, it occupies part of the Franche-Comte region in the east of the country and extends south into the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. The Cret de la Neige, the highest peak in the mountains, is located in the Ain department. The northern end of the mountains extends into Alsace on the west bank of the Rhine. Around 1,600 square kilometers of the mountainous region in France are protected as the Regional Nature Park of the Jura Mountains.
In Switzerland, the Jura is one of the country’s three geographic regions, the other two being the Swiss Alps and the Swiss Plateau. The offer includes the western part with the cantons of Solothurn, Basel-Landschaft, Bernese Jura, Jura, Vaud and Neuchâtel. Cities in the mountain region include Le Locle, La Chaux-de-Fonds and Sainte-Croix. The Swiss Jura was incorporated into the Swiss Confederation in the 19th century. Jura separatism in the 20th century led to the founding of the Canton of Jura in 1979.
Geography and geology
The Jura range was so named because of the dense forest that covers the mountains and surrounding valleys “Law” translate in “Forest.” Beech and oak forests are found in lower and higher elevations, while firs only grow in higher elevations. The mountain range began to form during the Cenozoic Era and was part of the process that formed the Alps. It is formed by two separate deformation thrust phases, the first thrust phase forming the mountain ridges in France and the second forming the higher inner mountains. The main deformation thrust to the southeast occurred approximately 5.3 to 2.6 years ago during the Pliocene Epoch. The Jura contains limestone and marl, which leads to high permeability and a lack of surface water. Several streams and rivers originate from the Jura, including the Doubs, Orbe, Areuse, Birs, Schuss, Ain and Lizon. The mountain region receives a lot of precipitation, with precipitation increasing in the west and south. Mount Tendre and Mount Risouz receive around 2,030 mm of precipitation annually, while the north slope and the Delémont valley receive less than 1,000 mm.
The natural beauty of the Jura has made the region a major tourist destination in Western Europe, which is visited by visitors in both summer and winter. The region is famous for hiking, cross-country skiing, skiing and cycling. The 310 km long Jura Höhenweg is one of the most popular hiking trails in the region. The Jura also has several natural attractions, including Creux du Van, a rocky talc 150 meters deep and 1.4 kilometers wide. Other main attractions are the Chasseral Mountain, the Grottes de I’Orbe, the Taubenloch Gorge, valleys and winding roads. The twin cities of Le Locle and La Chaux-de-Fonds have been declared a World Heritage Site because of their cultural importance. In addition to tourism, several light industries thrive in the Jura, including gemstone grinding, the manufacture of music boxes, camera equipment, typewriters and tobacco processing. In the Jura, wines such as Chateau-Chalon and Cotes du Jura are produced.