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Vue du Val-de-Travers dans son écrin de verdure (Môtiers, le 20.07.2009)..jpg
Coat of arms of Val-de-Travers
Location of Val-de-Travers
Val-de-Travers is located in Switzerland
Val-de-Travers is located in Canton of Neuchâtel
Coordinates: 46°54′N 6°36′E / 46.900°N 6.600°E / 46.900; 6.600Coordinates: 46°54′N 6°36′E / 46.900°N 6.600°E / 46.900; 6.600
 • Total124.94 km2 (48.24 sq mi)
737 m (2,418 ft)
 • Total10,668
 • Density85/km2 (220/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (Central European Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (Central European Summer Time)
Postal code(s)
SFOS number6512
SFSO statistics

Val-de-Travers is a municipality in the canton of Neuchâtel in Switzerland. It was created on 1 January 2009, when the former municipalities of Boveresse, Buttes, Couvet, Fleurier, Les Bayards, Môtiers, Noiraigue, Saint-Sulpice and Travers merged to form Val-de-Travers.[3]

The region is known for its production of absinthe.


Val-de-Travers is first mentioned in 1150 as Vallis traversis.[4]


Chasseron village
Aerial view from by Walter Mittelholzer (1919)

Val-de-Travers has an area, as of 2009, of 124.9 square kilometers (48.2 sq mi). Of this area, 52.92 km2 (20.43 sq mi) or 42.4% is used for agricultural purposes, while 63.24 km2 (24.42 sq mi) or 50.6% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 7.54 km2 (2.91 sq mi) or 6.0% is settled (buildings or roads), 0.59 km2 (0.23 sq mi) or 0.5% is either rivers or lakes and 0.39 km2 (0.15 sq mi) or 0.3% is unproductive land.[5]

Of the built up area, housing and buildings made up 2.5% and transportation infrastructure made up 2.5%. Out of the forested land, 46.8% of the total land area is heavily forested and 3.8% is covered with orchards or small clusters of trees. Of the agricultural land, 5.0% is used for growing crops and 23.9% is pastures and 13.4% is used for alpine pastures. All the water in the municipality is flowing water.[5]

The municipality is located in a valley in the Neuchâtel Jura. The valley provides a connection between the Swiss Plateau and Franche-Comté.

The river L'Areuse (previous called La Reuse, the name morphed into Areuse), flows lengthways of the valley, most of this river is a shallow river, and about 10 meters wide, it narrows into a gorge near Noiraigue. Historically, this river provided much of the water and fish for the valley.

The municipality was located in the Val-de-Travers District, until the district level was eliminated on 1 January 2018.[6]


Houses in Fleurier village

Val-de-Travers had a population (as of December 2020) of 10,579.[7] As of 2008, 18.0% of the population are resident foreign nationals.[8] In the 10 years (2000–2010) the population decreased by 2.5%. Migration accounted for -1.8% whilst births and deaths accounted for -1.6%.[9]

Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks French (88.9%) as their first language, Italian is the second most common (3.0%) and German is the third (2.7%).[9]

As of 2008 the population was 48.6% male and 51.4% female. The population was made up of 4,161 Swiss men (38.4% of the population) and 1,103 (10.2%) non-Swiss men. There were 4,677 Swiss women (43.2%) and 891 (8.2%) non-Swiss women.[10]

As of 2000, children and teenagers (0–19 years old) make up 25% of the population, while adults (20–64 years old) make up 55.9% and seniors (over 64 years old) make up 19.1%.[9]

As of 2009, the construction rate of new housing units was 0.6 new units per 1000 residents.[9] The vacancy rate for the municipality, in 2010, was 1.39%.[9]

Heritage sites of national significance[edit]

The Farm House no. 1201 or Monlési, the Maison des Chats or Petitpierre, the Séchoir à absinthe, Ivernois Castle and the Maison Boy de la Tour, the Hôtel des Six-Communes, the medieval church of St-Pierre, the Temple in Môtiers and Areuse Bridge are listed as Swiss heritage site of national significance. The villages of Buttes, Les Verrières, Môtiers, Couvet, Fleurier and Travers are all part of the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites.[11]


Fleurier train station

As of  2010, Val-de-Travers had an unemployment rate of 6.6%. As of 2008, there were 322 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 139 businesses involved in this sector. 1,980 people were employed in the secondary sector and there were 162 businesses in this sector. 2,188 people were employed in the tertiary sector, with 374 businesses in this sector.[9] There were residents of the municipality who were employed in some capacity. Of the working population, 13.1% used public transportation to get to work, and 57.3% used a private car.[9]


In the canton of Neuchâtel most municipalities provide two years of non-mandatory kindergarten, followed by five years of mandatory primary education. The next four years of mandatory secondary education is provided at thirteen larger secondary schools, which many students travel out of their home municipality to attend.[12] During the 2010-11 school year, there were 10.5 kindergarten classes with a total of 198 students in Val-de-Travers. In the same year, there were 29 primary classes with a total of 528 students.[13]


The municipality has seven railway stations. Two, Travers and Noiraigue, are located on the Neuchâtel–Pontarlier line with service to Neuchâtel and France. The other five are located on the Travers–Buttes line, which also servers Travers.

Notable people[edit]

Charles Édouard Guillaume, 1920
Daniel Bovet


  1. ^ a b "Arealstatistik Standard - Gemeinden nach 4 Hauptbereichen". Federal Statistical Office. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Ständige Wohnbevölkerung nach Staatsangehörigkeitskategorie Geschlecht und Gemeinde; Provisorische Jahresergebnisse; 2018". Federal Statistical Office. 9 April 2019. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  3. ^ Amtliches Gemeindeverzeichnis der Schweiz published by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (in German) accessed 14 January 2010
  4. ^ Val-de-Travers in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  5. ^ a b Swiss Federal Statistical Office-Land Use Statistics 2009 data (in German) accessed 25 March 2010
  6. ^ Amtliches Gemeindeverzeichnis der Schweiz (in German) accessed 15 February 2018
  7. ^ "Ständige und nichtständige Wohnbevölkerung nach institutionellen Gliederungen, Geburtsort und Staatsangehörigkeit". (in German). Swiss Federal Statistical Office - STAT-TAB. 31 December 2020. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  8. ^ Swiss Federal Statistical Office - Superweb database - Gemeinde Statistics 1981-2008 (in German) accessed 19 June 2010
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Swiss Federal Statistical Office accessed 3 November 2011
  10. ^ Canton of Neuchatel Statistics Archived 5 December 2012 at, République et canton de Neuchâtel - Recensement annuel de la population (in German) accessed 13 October 2011
  11. ^ "Kantonsliste A-Objekte". KGS Inventar (in German). Federal Office of Civil Protection. 2009. Archived from the original on 28 June 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  12. ^ EDK/CDIP/IDES (2010). Kantonale Schulstrukturen in der Schweiz und im Fürstentum Liechtenstein / Structures Scolaires Cantonales en Suisse et Dans la Principauté du Liechtenstein (PDF) (Report). Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  13. ^ Statistical Department of the Canton of Neuchâtel Archived 14 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine Mémento de l'année scolaire 2010/2011 (in French) accessed 17 October 2011

External links[edit]