FRANCE FRANCHE-COMTE DOUBS Royal Saltworks, Arc-et-Senans

Saline Royale
[+33 381544500 ad/ch €7.50/3.50] lies in the small town of Arc-et-Senans. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the brainchild of architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux and is an important example of Early Enlightenment architectural designs. In the 18th century, France-Comté had a prosperous salt extraction industry. However, due to depleting resources, the government decided to look for an industrial way of extracting salt, in order to keep the economy running. This was when Ledoux was tasked with the project of building a saltworks complex. He embarked on an ambitious project whereby, he aimed to create the ‘ideal city’ by designing a semi-circular complex that arranged buildings according to their hierarchical organisation of work. Although his project was never fully completed, it remains one of the grandest urban developments of his time.