Coordinates: 46°40′31″N 5°33′16″E / 46.6753°N 5.5544°E / 46.6753; 5.5544
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General view of Lons-le-Saunier
General view of Lons-le-Saunier
Flag of Lons-le-Saunier
Coat of arms of Lons-le-Saunier
Location of Lons-le-Saunier
Lons-le-Saunier is located in France
Lons-le-Saunier is located in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
Coordinates: 46°40′31″N 5°33′16″E / 46.6753°N 5.5544°E / 46.6753; 5.5544
CantonLons-le-Saunier-1 and 2
IntercommunalityEspace Communautaire Lons Agglomération
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Jean-Yves Ravier[1]
7.68 km2 (2.97 sq mi)
 • Density2,200/km2 (5,700/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
39300 /39000
Elevation243–415 m (797–1,362 ft)
(avg. 255 m or 837 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Lons-le-Saunier (French pronunciation: [lɔ̃s sonje]) is a commune and capital of the Jura Department, eastern France.[3]


The town is in the heart of the Revermont region, at the foot of the first plateau of the Jura massif. The Jura escarpment extends to the east and south, while to the west lies the plain of Bresse and to the north extensive vineyards.

The river Vallière runs through the town, rising in a typical Jura blind valley not far away, at Revigny. It has been conduited since the 1960s on grounds of hygiene, since sewage outlets run into it. A small section remains in the open air near the parc des Bains, and only a single bridge (the pont de la Guiche) remains.

The town is approximately equally placed between Besançon, Dijon, Bourg-en-Bresse and Geneva, though the last of these lies on the other side of the Jura massif. It is served by the A39 autoroute, by which Dijon can be reached in about an hour and Lyon in an hour and a half. The town's railway station lies on the line from Strasbourg to Lyon.

The wine-growing region to the north of the town is particularly well known, and includes the vintages of l'Etoile, Château-Chalon and Arbois.

The Jura escarpment to the south and east is a popular tourist region, with its attractions including the lakes of Chalain, Clairvaux and Vouglans (at Lect, Jura), and mountain resorts such as Prénovel and Les Rousses.

In terms of area, Lons-le-Saunier is the second smallest prefectural town in France, after Bobigny.


The brine springs of Lons-le-Saunier have been exploited since the Neolithic.[4] In the 19th century thermal baths were established, of which the monumental Thermes Lédonia have been preserved.[5] In the 19th century there were copper and iron foundries, and a trade in horses, cattle, grain, cheese, etc.[6]


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1793 6,740—    
1800 6,041−1.55%
1806 7,314+3.24%
1821 7,796+0.43%
1831 7,918+0.16%
1836 7,684−0.60%
1841 8,565+2.19%
1846 8,781+0.50%
1851 9,410+1.39%
1856 9,456+0.10%
1861 9,862+0.84%
1866 9,943+0.16%
1872 10,701+1.23%
1876 11,391+1.57%
1881 12,373+1.67%
1886 12,290−0.13%
1891 12,610+0.52%
1896 12,116−0.80%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1901 12,935+1.32%
1906 13,133+0.30%
1911 13,927+1.18%
1921 13,152−0.57%
1926 12,651−0.77%
1931 14,101+2.19%
1936 14,661+0.78%
1946 15,568+0.60%
1954 15,030−0.44%
1962 15,924+0.72%
1968 18,769+2.78%
1975 20,942+1.58%
1982 20,105−0.58%
1990 19,144−0.61%
1999 18,483−0.39%
2007 18,075−0.28%
2012 17,353−0.81%
2017 17,291−0.07%
Source: EHESS[7] and INSEE (1968-2017)[8]




  • General Claude Lecourbe (1759–1815) studied in Lons; a statue of him stands in the central Place de la Liberté

Twin towns[edit]

Lons-le-Saunier is twinned with:


  1. ^ "Répertoire national des élus: les maires". data.gouv.fr, Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises (in French). 9 August 2021.
  2. ^ "Populations légales 2021". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 28 December 2023.
  3. ^ INSEE commune file
  4. ^ Schülé, Christian (2017). "Histoire de sel entre Jura et Alpes — Salzgeschichten zwischen Jura und Alpen" (PDF) (in French and German). p. 17.
  5. ^ Base Mérimée: Établissement thermal, Ministère français de la Culture. (in French)
  6. ^ Ross, J.M. (editor) (1878). "Globe Encyclopaedia of Universal Information", Vol. IV, Edinburgh-Scotland, Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works
  7. ^ Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Commune data sheet Lons-le-Saunier, EHESS (in French).
  8. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE

External links[edit]