St-Ursanne / Clos du Doubs

Jura & Three-Lakes

According to legend, the little town of St-Ursanne was founded by the Irish monk Ursicinus, who lived as a hermit on this isolated spot. Even today, this place possesses a magnetic power of attraction.

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Although several hundred people live here today, St-Ursanne on the banks of the river Doubs has remained a place of tranquility and relaxation. The picturesque town consists mainly of medieval edifices, burgher houses dating from the 14th through 16th century and the impressive collegiate church that was built between the 12th and the 14th century.

Visitors reach the hermitage of the St. Ursicinus, which is located in a grotto, by means of a steep staircase with 190 steps.

The high-standing ruins of a castle are located in the north of the city. The Doubs Bridge, which has four arches, was built in 1728 and affords a good view of the medieval town and its environs, including the future Nature Park Doubs.

Summer

The natural wilderness of the Clos du Doubs can be reached by footpaths and a mountain bike route that is even suitable for beginners. Many fishermen are drawn to the Doubs. People say that the best river trout are to be found in the Doubs. However, the lush river landscape round the Doubs is also popular with canoeists and kayakers. A very special experience is the four-day walk, nearly 80 km long, from St. Ursanne along the Doubs to Les Brenets or vice versa. Of course, it can also be done in separate day walks. At the end of each stage, post bus routes take you back up from the valley of the Doubs to the Jura plateau.

Highlights

  • Old Town and monastery – charming mediaeval town on the River Doubs with narrow alleyways, fine buildings and bridges and an imposing Romanesque-Gothic collegiate church with cloisters.
  • Nature reserve of Clos du Doubs – a mostly wooded ridge (917 m), surrounded by a loop in the River Doubs, with panoramic views over the Vosges as far as the Freiberg mountains.
  • Old mill at Soubey – the last in a whole series of mills along the Doubs. This restored mill dates from 1565 and still ground the corn from surrounding farms until 1968. It included a sawmill and also generated electricity.
  • Grottes de Réclère and Préhisto-Parc – impressive caves with stalactites and stalagmites, of European importance, 1.5 km of the cave system can be visited with a guide, and a Dinosaur Park on the evolution of the animal world.
  • Porrentruy – mediaeval little town dominated by an imposing castle, in the curve of the Jura in the Ajoie region.

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