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Jura
Coat of Arms of Jura
Location
Location of Jura in France
Administration
Department number: 39
Region: Franche-Comté
Prefecture: Lons-le-Saunier
Subprefectures: Dole
Saint-Claude
Arrondissements: 3
Cantons: 34
Communes: 545
President of the General Council: Gérard Bailly
Statistics
Population Ranked 79th
 -1999 250,857
Population density: 50/km2
Land area¹: 4999 km2
¹ French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2.

Jura is a department in the east of France named after the Jura mountains.

Contents

History

Historically, Jura belonged to the Free County of Burgundy, known in French as the Franche-Comté. Dole was the capital until the region was conquered by Louis XIV and it was moved to Besançon. It is now a sous-préfecture of Jura.

As early as the 13th century, inhabitants of the southern 2/3 of Jura spoke a dialect of Arpitan language. It continued to be spoken in rural areas into the 20th century.

Jura is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. It was created from part of the former province of Franche-Comté. The departments of Jura, Doubs, and Haute-Saône form the modern Franche-Comté region of France. The prefecture (capital) is Lons-le-Saunier.

Geography

Jura is one of four departments of the Franche-Comté region and is surrounded by the French departments of Doubs, Haute-Saône, Côte-d'Or, Saône-et-Loire, and Ain, as well as the Swiss canton of Vaud on the east.

The Jura mountains are wooded and rolling, not craggy and rocky like the Alps.

Many lakes can be found throughout the Jura - the largest natural lake being Lac de Chalain, measuring 3 km long and 1 km wide. Lac de Vouglans was formed after the building of a hydro-electric dam. It is one of the largest man-made lakes in France.

Politics

The President of the General Council is Jean Raquin (Miscellaneous Right).

Party seats
Union for a Popular Movement 15
Socialist Party 8
Miscellaneous Left 6
French Communist Party 3
Miscellaneous Right 2

Climate

The climate of the Jura varies greatly by elevation. The lower valleys are temperate and pleasant, but the high mountain valleys have bitterly cold winters.

Economy

Jura is a wine-growing region. The Jura wines are very distinctive and unusual wines, such as vin jaune, which is made by a similar process to sherry, developing under a flor of yeast. This is made from the local Savagnin grape variety. Other grape varieties include Poulsard, Trousseau, and Chardonnay.

Tourism

The Jura mountains provide ample opportunities for hiking, skiing, and other winter sports.

See also

External links

Coordinates: 46°40′31″N 5°33′16″E / 46.67528°N 5.55444°E / 46.67528; 5.55444

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