|• Mayor (2014–2020)||Patrick Genre|
|Area1||41.35 km2 (15.97 sq mi)|
|• Density||450/km2 (1,200/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||25462 / 25300|
|Elevation||811–1,320 m (2,661–4,331 ft)
(avg. 837 m or 2,746 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.
Pontarlier occupies the ancient Roman station of Ariolica, in Gallia and is placed in the Tables on the road from Urba (modern Orbe, Canton Vaud, Switzerland), to Vesontio (modern Besançon). Although the distances in the Antonine Itinerary do not agree with the real distances, French geographer D'Anville recognized a transposition of the numbers. The Theodosian Tabula names the place "Abrolica", which William Smith states as a possible error of transcription.
After the Burgundian invasion in 5th, Pontarlier became an unavoidable way of trade from the kingdom of Burgundy to Switzerland, Germany or Lombardy. It was the easier way to cross Jura mountains until the 17th.
The city of Pontarlier is briefly mentioned in Victor Hugo's Les Misérables. It was to this city that convict Jean Valjean was to report for his parole after being released from the galleys. Breaking these instructions is a major turning point in the novel, and also creates some major conflict for Valjean later in the story.
Pontarlier was famous for the production of absinthe until its ban in 1915. The distilleries switched over to producing pastis. With the ban partially lifted in the 1990s, distilleries are once again producing absinthe in Pontarlier.
- Edgar Faure, member of the Académie française, president of the city council, and mayor
- Philippe Grenier, physician and politician
- Xavier Marmier, writer and poet
- Robert Fernier, painter
- Pierre Bichet, painter
- Vincent Defrasne, biathlete
- Florence Baverel-Robert, biathlete
- Triumphal arch of the Porte Saint-Pierre (18th century) ;
- Gate of the ancient church of the Annonciades (18th century) ;
- Stained glass created in 1976 by painter Alfred Manessier for Saint-Bénigne Church;
- Municipal museum, place d'Arçon ;
- Fort de Joux beautiful castle (between 11th and 19th century) ;
Twin towns – Sister cities
Pontarlier is twinned with:
- "Association Suisse des Communes et Régions d’Europe". L'Association suisse pour le Conseil des Communes et Régions d'Europe (ASCCRE) (in French). Retrieved 2013-07-20.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed. (1854–1857). "article name needed". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray.
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