St-Ursanne, also known as the “Pearl of the Jura”, is located in the north-eastern canton of Jura. Around 690 predominantly French-speaking inhabitants live in this medieval town. The town owes its existence to the founding of the monastery in honor of the monk Ursicinus in the 9th century. Saint-Ursanne is a charming town on the banks of the River Doubs that has hardly changed over the centuries. It is impressive and definitely worth a visit.
The town is surrounded by the Jura mountain ranges in the narrow gorge of the Doubs. Rocky and densely wooded ridges characterize the surrounding area. The Doubs river flows directly through the town.
The streets of the town are lined with numerous art galleries and antique stores. A medieval garden invites you to visit, where you can admire beds of medicinal herbs and vegetables that were used in the past.
Sights of St-Ursanne
The old town of St-Ursanne enchants visitors with its historical flair and attracts numerous tourists. The three city gates, Porte Saint-Pierre, Saint-Paul and Saint-Jean, are silent witnesses to bygone eras. In the Porte Saint-Pierre in particular, visitors can admire the impressive “La-Barbatte” tower clock, which dates back to the 18th century. The Porte Saint-Jean leads to the picturesque Doubs Bridge, which is also worth seeing and is adorned by the statue of the bridge saint John of Nepomuk.
The Romanesque collegiate church and the adjoining monastery with its early Gothic cloister are a must-see on a guided tour of the town. In the western part of the town, you can climb around 190 steps to reach a grotto where the monk Ursicinus once lived. There is also a small chapel in the post-Gothic style on the rocky slope. The town museum of St-Ursanne provides information about the history of the town and displays sculptures and other architectural elements as well as stone sarcophagi from the Merovingian and Carolingian periods.
Medieval festival “Les Médiévales”
A very special event awaits visitors to St-Ursanne every two years: the medieval festival “Les Médiévales”. On a weekend in the second half of July, the town is transformed into a vibrant scene of medieval life. Over three days, Saint-Ursanne immerses itself in the magic of bygone times and gives visitors an authentic experience.
During the festival, the town comes to life and is transformed into an ancient bishop’s seat. Kings, queens, knights, jugglers, witches, merchants and craftsmen parade through the streets in magnificent robes and costumes. It is a true journey through time, where you find yourself in the midst of medieval society.
The festival offers a wealth of activities and entertainment that appeal to all the senses. Visitors can admire historical craftsmanship while artisans demonstrate their skills in traditional techniques. There are also numerous medieval games and competitions where you can put your skills to the test.
The palate is also spoiled, as the streets and squares are filled with the aroma of delicious dishes from times gone by. Medieval food and drink are on offer so that you can discover the taste of the era.
The medieval festival “Les Médiévales” offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the fascinating world of the Middle Ages and experience the flair of times gone by up close. It is an unforgettable journey into history, where you can get to know the atmosphere and customs of the period in a lively way.
Video St-Ursanne Switzerland – A fairytale village – Beautiful medieval village in the canton of Jura
Saint-Ursanne is a wonderful town in the canton of Jura. It is a medieval town with a magical atmosphere…