Lons-le-Saunier, Jura: tourism & sightseeing

Photo of Lons-le-Saunier (Franche-Comte region)

Visit Lons-le-Saunier (Franche-Comte, France)

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Lons-le-Saunier is to the east of the Franche-Comté region, near Chateau-Chalon and Baume-les-Messieurs in the countryside south of Dole.

Dating from at least Roman times, and with evidence of a neolithic settlement before that, the town has a long history. Unfortunately much of Lons-le-Saunier was destroyed by fire in the 17th century, so most of the buildings you see in the centre date from the following decades. An exploration of the town is recommended if you are passing.

Explore Lons-le-Saunier

Lons-le-Saunier is based around the central Place de la Liberte, a large open square with fountains and statues.

The streets that radiate from the square and are lined with 17th century town houses are the highlight - especially the Rue des Arcades. Note the clocktower on the same street, and also the birthplace of Rouget de Lisle (composer of the French National Anthem, the Marseillaise - there is also a statue of Rouget de lisle in the place de la Liberte).

There are more townhouses to admire - see the 18th century properties in La Place Bichat, and the pastel-tinted colours of the less grand houses in La Place de la Comedie.

The crypt in the Church Saint-Eglise at Lons-le-Saunier deserves a visit as does (which is not always the case in small French towns) the museum exploring the history of the region.

There is also a spa if you need some rest and relaxation (the town has apparently been a spa town for the last 2000 years), and a good sprinkling of fountains around the town to remind you of its importance.

The archaeology museum in Lons-le-Saunier features a dinosaur from 210 million years ago, so the oldest in France.

Attractions nearby

Within just a few kilometres of Lons-le-Saunier you can visit two of the most beautiful villages in the Franche-Comté region at Chateau-Chalon and Baume-les-Messieurs. Both are in very scenic locations and visits are highly recommended!

You can find more local travel ideas in the Jura guide and the Franche-Comte guide.

See also:

Photos of Lons-le-Saunier

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Map of Lons-le-Saunier and places nearby

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Address: Lons-le-Saunier, Franche-Comte, 39000, France || GPS: latitude 46.675, longitude 5.5544

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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Baume-les-Messieurs: most beautiful village (8 km)
  • Jardin des jeux du château d'Arlay: remarkable garden (9 km)
  • Chateau-Chalon: most beautiful village (10 km)
  • Confluence - Le Hérisson: site of natural beauty (14 km)
  • Source - la Seille: site of natural beauty (14 km)
  • Lac de Chalain: site of natural beauty (18 km)
  • Lac de Chambly: site of natural beauty (19 km)
  • Lac du Val: site of natural beauty (21 km)
  • Lac du Vernois: site of natural beauty (26 km)
  • Source - Le Hérisson: site of natural beauty (26 km)
  • Lac de Bonlieu: site of natural beauty (26 km)
  • Lac d'Ilay: site of natural beauty (27 km)

Market days in Lons-le-Saunier, France

Regular market(s) are held in Lons-le-Saunier each Thursday all day. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Lons-le-Saunier (Francais)