Driving tour (Delémont to Ajoie), Jura
The so-called Pruntruter Zipfel (Porrentruy summit) is the name given to the hilly borderland with France, a chalk upland area which slopes down towards Burgundy. The road between Delémont and Porrentruy (German Pruntrut; 25km/15mi) is part of the main route Berne-Belfort-Paris.
Develier (Corniche du Jura)
Via Develier (church window by Bissière) along the beautiful "Corniche du Jura" (14km/8mi) the road reaches the Les Rangiers pass (alt. 858 m/2,816ft) with magnificent views of the mountain ridge Mont Terri. 1km/ 0.6mi farther on the right is a war memorial, erected in 1924, in memory of the battles of the First World War.
The "Corniche du Jura" runs via Les Malettes (inn) down through the Combe Maran and under a high railroad viaduct (5km/3mi) to St-Ursanne (German St Ursitz; 440 m/1,444ft; pop. 1,100), a romantic little medieval town on the River Doubs, which bends sharply through Swiss territory. St-Ursanne was founded on the site of the chapter-house, which dates back to the Irish monk Ursicinus (companion of Colomban). The church, a triple-naved basilica with buttresses and no transept (Romanesque choir, 12th C.; Gothic nave, 13th-14th C.; front tower, 1441), is one of the most attractive buildings in the west of Switzerland and contains a cloister, Merovingian sarcophagi and a Romanesque crypt. Of particular note are the Romanesque south doorway, the towers, the old bridge and the castle ruins.Motor enthusiasts will be interested in the International Rally St-Ursanne-Les Rangiers, the only Swiss motor race in the European Championships.
The road to Porrentruy runs down from Les Malettes with views of the village and ruins of Asuel, through the village of Cornol (503 m/1,651ft), lying in a narrow valley into the hilly countryside of the Ajoie (German Eisgau). After 8.5km/5mi it comes to Courgenay (493 m/1,618ft), home of the legendary soldiers' mother "Gilberte de Courgenay". From here it is 5km/3mi to Porrentruy.
Medieval town & castle, Porrentruy, Switzerland
Porrentry (426 m/1,398ft; pop. 7,800) is the commercial, industrial and cultural center of the Ajoie. In 1988 it received the Wakker prize for its outstanding preservation of its medieval town center. The old town is dominated by the castle, which became the seat of the prince-bishops following Berne's conversion to the new faith (1529). The 13th C. round tower Tour Réfouse (refuge) is the oldest building with the Porte de France (1563) in the Faubourg as evidence of the former fortifications. Notable sights include the Catholic parish church of St-Pierre (1349), with Late Baroque side altars, the former Jesuit church which is now used as the hall of the cantonal school and several Baroque buildings such as the Hôtel de Ville (1761-1763; interesting bell towers), the Hôpital (now a local museum, opening times given) with the Samaritan fountain by L. Perraud (1564), the Late Baroque Hôtel des Halles and the Hôtel de Gléresse (ca. 1750), houses the library. The Botanical Garden of the cantonal school, founded by Lémane in 1795, is open daily in May and June.
Jurassien Museum of Natural Sciences
Scientific collections of rocks, minerals, fossils, birds and mammals with emphasis on specimens from Europe and the Jura in particular plus a display on the evolution of the human race. A botanical garden, featuring orchids and 600 species of cactus, is included.
This annual two-day festival is held in late August and has proven very popular over the years.
Jurassienne Canton Library Ancient Grounds
This three-day festival takes place in mid-November.
From Porrentruy it is 12km/7mi to the Swiss border town of Boncourt (375 m/1,231ft; pop. 1,700), with a 12th/13th C. church, a traditional tobacco factory (1814) and caves with stalactites.