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Jura (department)

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Flag of Jura
Coat of arms of Jura
Coat of arms
Location of Jura in France
Location of Jura in France
Coordinates: Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 492: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
SubprefecturesDole, Saint-Claude
 • PresidentClément Pernot[1]
 • Total4,999.2 km2 (1,930.2 sq mi)
Highest elevation
1,200 m (3,900 ft)
Lowest elevation
200 m (700 ft)
 • Total260,681
 • Density52.1445/km2 (135.0537/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeFR-39

Jura is a department in the east of France in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region. It is named after the Jura mountains.

The largest city in the department is Dole but its prefecture (capital) is the city of Lons-le-Saunier.


Historically, Jura belonged to the Free County of Burgundy, known in French as the Franche-Comté. Dole was the capital until the region was conquered by Louis XIV. Louis XIV moved the capital to Besançon and Dole is now a sous-préfecture of Jura.

As early as the 13th century, inhabitants of the southern 2/3 of Jura spoke a dialect of Arpitan language. It continued to be spoken in rural areas into the 20th century.

Jura is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. It was created from part of the former province of Free County. The department was created with six districts: Dole, Lons-le-Saunier, Orgelet, Poligny, Saint-Claude and Salins; the capital was Lons-le-Saunier alternating with Dole, Poligny and Salins but from 1794 only Lons-le-Saunier remained as the capital.[4]

In 1800, with the creation of the arrondissements in France, the six districts were changed into four arrondissements: Lons-le-Saunier, Dole, Poligny and Saint-Claude. On 10 September 1926, the arrondissement of Poligny was eliminated.[4]


Jura is part of the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region. It has an area of 4,999.2 km2 (1,930 sq mi).[2]

The department borders with 5 departments in two regions. The Swiss canton of Vaud is to the southeast.

The highest point in the department is Crêt Pela (

Template-specific style sheet:

46°24′50″N 6°1′19″E / 46.41389°N 6.02194°E / 46.41389; 6.02194 (Crêt Pela)), 1,495 m (4,905 ft) high; it is also the highest mountain of the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region.[5] The Crêt Pela mountain is in the Forêt du Massacre, Jura mountain range.

Many lakes can be found throughout the Jura department. The largest natural lake in the department is the Lac De Chalain. It is 3 km (1.9 mi) long and 1 km (0.6 mi) wide. Lac de Vouglans was formed after the building of a hydro-electric dam; it is one of the largest man-made lakes in France.

The Ain river starts in the Jura department but it is the main river of the Ain department. The Doubs also flows through a part of the department. Many tributaries of both rivers flow, partially or completely, in the Jura department.


The climate of the Jura varies greatly by elevation. The lower valleys are temperate and pleasant, but the high mountain valleys have bitterly cold winters.


Jura is managed by the Departmental Council of Jura in Lons-le-Saunier. The department is part of the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region.

Administrative divisions

There are 3 arrondissements (districts), 17 cantons and 509 communes (municipalities) in Jura.[6]

Arrondissement Capital Population[7]
391 Dole Dole 83,701 1,171.2 71.5 191
392 Lons-le-Saunier Lons-le-Saunier 126,071 2,825.4 44.6 258
393 Saint-Claude Saint-Claude 50,909 1,002.6 50.8 60

The following is a list of the 17 cantons of the Jura department (with their INSEE codes), following the French canton reorganisation which came into effect in March 2015:[9]

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Jura had a population, in 2014, of 260,681,[3] for a population density of 52.1 inhabitants/km2. The arrondissement of Lons-le-Saunier, with 126,071 inhabitants, is the arrondissement with more inhabitants.[7]

Evolution of the population in Jura <timeline> Colors=

 id:lightgrey value:gray(0.9)
 id:darkgrey  value:gray(0.7)
 id:sfondo value:rgb(1,1,1)
 id:barra value:rgb(0.6,0.7,0.8)

ImageSize = width:500 height:373 PlotArea = left:50 bottom:30 top:30 right:30 DateFormat = x.y Period = from:0 till:275000 TimeAxis = orientation:vertical AlignBars = justify ScaleMajor = gridcolor:darkgrey increment:25000 start:0 ScaleMinor = gridcolor:lightgrey increment:12500 start:0 BackgroundColors = canvas:sfondo


bar:1968 text:1968
bar:1975 text:1975
bar:1982 text:1982
bar:1990 text:1990
bar:1999 text:1999
bar:2008 text:2008
bar:2014 text:2014


color:barra width:30 align:left
bar:1968 from:0 till: 233441
bar:1975 from:0 till: 238856
bar:1982 from:0 till: 242925
bar:1990 from:0 till: 248759
bar:1999 from:0 till: 250857
bar:2008 from:0 till: 260740
bar:2014 from:0 till: 260681


bar:1968 at: 233441 fontsize:S text: 233.441 shift:(-13,5)
bar:1975 at: 238856 fontsize:S text: 238.856 shift:(-18,5)
bar:1982 at: 242925 fontsize:S text: 242.925 shift:(-18,5)
bar:1990 at: 248759 fontsize:S text: 248.759 shift:(-18,5)
bar:1999 at: 250857 fontsize:S text: 250.857 shift:(-18,5)
bar:2008 at: 260740 fontsize:S text: 260.740 shift:(-18,5)
bar:2014 at: 260681 fontsize:S text: 260,681 shift:(-18,5)


The cities with more than inhabitants in the department are:[7]

City Population[7]
Dole 23,312 Dole
Lons-le-Saunier 17,311 Lons-le-Saunier
Saint-Claude 10,096 Saint-Claude
Champagnole 7,908 Lons-le-Saunier
Hauts de Bienne 5,457 Saint-Claude
Poligny 4,146 Lons-le-Saunier
Tavaux 3,957 Dole
Arbois 3,463 Lons-le-Saunier
Les Rousses 3,276 Saint-Claude
Montmorot 3,019 Lons-le-Saunier


Jura is a wine-growing region. The Jura wines are very distinctive and unusual wines, such as vin jaune, which is made by a similar process to sherry. It develops under a flor of yeast. This is made from the local Savagnin grape variety. Other grape varieties include Poulsard, Trousseau, and Chardonnay.


The Jura mountains provide ample opportunities for hiking, skiing, mountain biking and other winter sports.

Related pages


  1. "Les élus et commissions" (in French). Le Conseil départemental du Jura. Retrieved 1 July 2017. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Département du Jura (39)" (in French). Comparateur de territoire. Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 1 July 2017. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Populations légales 2014: Recensement de la population - Régions, départements, arrondissements, cantons et communes" (in French). Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 21 June 2017. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Historique du Jura" (in French). Le SPLAF. Retrieved 1 July 2017. 
  5. "Crêt Pela, France/Spain". Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  6. "Département du Jura (39)" (in French). Géographie administrative et d'étude. Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 1 July 2017. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "Régions, départements, arrondissements, cantons et communes" (in French) (PDF). Populations légales 2014. Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 1 July 2017. 
  8. "Département du Jura (39)" (in French). Comparateur de territoire. Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 1 July 2017. 
  9. "Décret n° 2014-165 du 17 février 2014 portant délimitation des cantons dans le département du Jura" (in French). 22 February 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2017. 

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