Lons-le-Saunier  (pop 18,000) is the prefecture (capital) town in the Jura department and it is decorated with enclosing mountains and vineyards. The town’s history dates back to the Neolithic period; unfortunately, this entire heritage was destroyed in a fire in the early 17th century. Hence, most of the buildings in town today, are from this era.

Lons-le-Saunier is based around its central square, Place de la Liberte, which is well-lined with numerous 17th and 18th century houses. It is also where the local clocktower lies, chiming the national anthem in memory of their hometown boy Rouget de Lisle, composer of the French national anthem)\.

Despite being a small town, Lon-le-Saunier owns a rather large piece of French archaeological history in its Musée Municipal d’Archéologie [133 Rue Rene Mayor +33 384861173 Temporarily closed to public]. The town’s archaeological museum houses various artefacts that showcase the development of human activity in the area; however, its highlight is the 210 million-year old dinosaur skeleton (the oldest in France). 

Lons-le-Saunier is also known for its rejuvenating and healing spas, as the town is home to numerous salt springs.



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LONS-LE-SOUNIER:   1. Tourist office  2. Train station  3. Place de la Liberte  4. Musée Municipal d’Archéologie (north east of map limit; zoom out to view)