Jura: History & Tradition

On 24 September 1978, the people of Switzerland gave their endorsement to the creation of a 26th canton. In the ensuing thirty years, the youngest canton has become well integrated within the Swiss Confederation. On one side, Jura's history is closely linked with that of the adjacent country, France and, on the other side, with the Canton of Berne. These two very different neighbours still make their presences felt today, and prompt lively discussion.


On 19 December 1792, the Rauracian Republic was proclaimed, as the first "sister" to the French Republic. In March 1793 it was annexed, de facto, by France. In 1815 the Congress of Vienna decided to allocate Jura to Switzerland.


On 23 June 1974, a referendum decided to create the Canton of Jura. Although it came into being following the plebiscite, the Canton was officially created by the referendum of the Swiss Cantons on 24 September 1978.




JU history


Tradition – "Marché-Concours national de chevaux“

The annual "Marché-Concours National de chevaux" takes place on the second weekend of August in Saignelégier ever since 1897. Between 40,000 and 50,000 visitors attend this national festival of racing; visitors are attracted not only by the horse races but also by the exhibitions and other competitions.

Have a look at this year's edition :

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JU history



The " Tête de Moine” cheese, or “Fromage de Bellelay”, has a long history stretching back more than 800 years and is in fact the oldest cheese in the Swiss Confederation. It is currently produced by at least ten cheese makers.  


JU history

Tête de Moine on a cherry compote

Print recipe (275 KB)


Traditional Products

  • Damassine plum brandy  
  • Tête de Moine 
  • Macvin fortified wine


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