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Château Pécauld in Arbois
Château Pécauld in Arbois
Flag of Arbois
Coat of arms of Arbois
Coat of arms
Arbois is located in France
Coordinates: 46°54′13″N 5°46′29″E / 46.9036°N 5.7747°E / 46.9036; 5.7747Coordinates: 46°54′13″N 5°46′29″E / 46.9036°N 5.7747°E / 46.9036; 5.7747
Country France
Region Franche-Comté
Department Jura
Arrondissement Lons-le-Saunier
Canton Arbois
Intercommunality Val de la Cuisance
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Bernard Amiens
 • Land1 45.42 km2 (17.54 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 • Population2 3,471
 • Population2 density 76/km2 (200/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 39013 / 39600
Elevation 246–613 m (807–2,011 ft)
(avg. 293 m or 961 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Arbois is a commune in the Jura department in Franche-Comté in eastern France. The Cuisance River passes through the town, which has some pretty streets lined with ancient houses. The town centers on an arcaded central square where one can sample the local wines.[1]


As part of the Duchy of Burgundy, Arbois endured seven sieges, including sackings by Charles I d'Amboise (in 1479 while he was governor of Franche-Comté under Louis XI), Henry IV (when the town held out for three weeks against the King's 25,000 troops), and Louis XIV. It has a castle erected in 1270, some vestiges of which survived the dismantlement that Louis XIV ordered in 1678. There are stretches of wall, pierced for archers, three round towers, and the square Gloriette tower.

In 1834 when the republic was proclaimed at Lyons, the town joined the revolt against the government, which promptly sent a small force of grenadiers, cavalry, and a battery of artillery to subdue it.

In September 1944, the U.S. 36th Infantry Division liberated Arbois as it moved up the Rhone towards Besançon and then on to the Moselle.[2]


Historical population
Year Pop.   ±%  
1962 3,960 —    
1968 4,209 +6.3%
1975 4,089 −2.9%
1982 3,998 −2.2%
1990 3,900 −2.5%
1999 3,698 −5.2%
2008 3,471 −6.1%


The area produces some of the best Jura wines, including vin jaune (yellow wine) and vin de Paille (straw wine), in the Arbois AOC.

The Arbois appellation was introduced in 1936 and covers 13 communes on the hills and valley slopes surrounding the town. One of these, a small village named Pupillin, is particularly known for the quality of its wines, which come from a patchwork of vineyards planted on south-facing, limestone-rich slopes. Wines from these sites are sold as Arbois-Pupillin. Arbois wines are produced from around 2100 acres (850ha) of vineyards, planted with Chardonnay, Savagnin, Poulsard (or Ploussard as it is known here), Pinot Noir and Trousseau.

About 70% of Jura's red wines are produced under the Arbois name, along with about 30% of its whites.[3]


Tourist attractions include:

  • Tour Gloriette (the Gloriette Tower) was built in the 13th century together with the Tour Velfaux (Vellefaux), and integrated into the Château Pécauld (Pecaud). The Gloriette was one of the principle elements of the city's ramparts, which stretched some 1200 meters. It was badly damaged in 1503 when the Cuisance overflowed its banks. With a height of 17 meters and a square base, 11 meters on each side, the current tower was restored at the beginning of the sixteenth century. Although the city was attacked by several armies, the tower itself was never attacked.
  • Château Pécauld, built in the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, and which once belonged to the Dukes of Burgundy, now houses a small museum dedicated to wine growing and production. By the thirteenth century it was part the defenses of the city. Its large circular tower is known as the Tour de Velfaux after the tower's owner, Guillaume de Velfaux, who sold it to Nicolas Perrenot de Granvelle, the father of Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle. De Grenvelle added to the house proper at the beginning of the sixteenth century, at the end of which the Pecauld family acquired it. During the French revolution the house was nationalized and sold in 1826 to the city of Arbois. Later, the Institute of the Wines of Jura restored it.
  • Saint Just church with its twelfth. century nave, thirteenth century vaulting, sixteenth century chancel, and seventeenth century and 1715 church tower. The organ is rated as a historic monument and was restored in 1985.
  • Pasteur Museum
  • The cave of Les Planches (Grotte des Planches) (5 km away)

Notable people[edit]

Louis Pasteur, born in nearby Dole, was raised in Arbois and conducted various experiments related to fermentation in his home, which is now a museum.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1] Arbois wine at wine searcher
  2. ^ INSEE commune file INSEE commune file
  3. ^ [2] Arbois wine at wine searcher

External links[edit]