Arbois

FRANCE FRANCHE-COMPTE BELFORT Pasteur labThe commune of Arbois (pop 3,600) is known for concocting the best wines in the Jura region. Although the number of vineyards has decreased over the years, the art of wine-making is still alive in Arbois. In fact, the town is still home to numerous winegrower houses, which can be recognised from their ground-level trap doors that are used to access the barrels in the wine cellars. You can find most of these houses listed on the town’s tourism site.

Like any self-respecting wine capital, Arbois has dedicated a museum to its rich wine-making heritage. The Vineyard and Wine Museum [Château Pécauld, +33 384664045 €3.50/Free] is run by the Institute of Wines of Jura and is housed in the local château Pécault. This handsome medieval château once belonged to the Dukes of Burgundy and was later part of the city’s defences. It was sold to the government during the French Revolution and was soon restored by the institute, to showcase the history and tradition of wine-making.

Sitting along the Cruisance River, Arbois is also known for its beautiful architecture which is further enhanced by the flowing water. Many buildings in the old city, line the riverbanks, providing a picturesque setting for a good stroll. One such structure is the Église Saint-Just, which was built between the 12th and 13th centuries. The church’s highlight is its 60m tall bell tower that takes 209 steps to get to the top. The climb is worth it, as from here you can see the rest of the town at your feet.

Situated right beside Dole, Arbois also shares a bit of Louis Pasteur’s history. In 1827, Louis Pasteur (father of pasteurisation and inventor of the first rabies vaccine) moved from of Dole to Arbois. He grew up here, conducting many of his groundbreaking experiments in this very place. As such, the town has preserved his memories in the La Maison de Louis Pasteur [83, rue de Courcelle, +33 384661172 ad/ch €6/3 (Only guided tours available)], showcasing his family portraits, stationary as well as his lab equipments.

 

 

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ARBOIS:   1. Train station (north of map limits)  2. Vineyard and Wine Museum  3. Église Saint-Just,  4. La Maison de Louis Pasteur