City guide La Chaux-de-Fonds
The cityscape of La Chaux-de-Fonds, which was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009, is characterized by a chessboard design that was created at the beginning of the 19th century after a catastrophic fire. La Chaux-de-Fonds (1,000 meters above sea level) is the birthplace of the architect Le Corbusier, whose actual name was Charles Edouard Jeanneret-Gris. One of his early works, "Maison Blanche", is located here. He built the house in 1912 for his parents.
The international watch museum "Musée International de l'Horlogerie" (MIH) is entirely dedicated to the history of time measurement. It houses over 4,500 exhibits, including 2,700 watches and 700 wall clocks.
The climate in the Jura is harsh. On the lonely heights west of Le Locle is the village of La Brévine, which is called the Siberia of Switzerland, and holds the record for the lowest temperature ever recorded in Switzerland –41.8°. In summer the Jura mountains are a popular place for walking and cycling, while in winter the main sport is cross-country skiing.
The trees along its main street are trimmed at a height of 1,000 metres above sea level and make La Chaux-de-Fonds the highest city in Europe. In 2009 this watchmaking metropolis became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.