swissworld.org - Switzerland's official information portal

swissworld.org - Switzerland's official information portal

Your Gateway to Switzerland

The Jura

The Creux du Van, Canton Neuchatel (in new window)

The Creux du Van, Canton Neuchatel© imagepoint.biz

The Jura, a limestone range stretching from Lake Geneva to the Rhine, makes up about 12 per cent of Switzerland’s surface area. Located on average 700 meters (2,300 feet) above sea level, it is a picturesque highland crossed by river valleys.

Numerous fossils and dinosaur tracks have been found in the Jura region, which has given its name to the Jurassic period. The rocks of the Jura were formed between 208 million and 144 million years ago. Jurassic period rocks are found in numerous places in the world, but it was in the Jura that they were first studied, at the end of the 18th century.

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