January 18, 2018

Eye Catching Porrentruy Switzerland

A week or so ago, as my husband was watching the Tour du France, I kept seeing this beautiful village and passing landscape as the riders got closer to the days finish line.  By the end of the race, I was mesmerized by the quaint charming little town this stage ended in.  Come to find out, it wasn’t even in FranceNo this lovely village is in Switzerland and is known as Porrentruy.

Porrentruy Swizterland panorama

Porrentruy Swizterland panorama by Dietrich Michael Weidmann

Located in Northwest Switzerland, in a little pocket of land surrounded by France at the bottom of the Jura mountains, this village of approximately 6,800 people has over time wandered back and forth between being part of France and Switzerland.  Even though tools and other objects dating back to the Mesolithic, Bronze and Iron ages have been found here, the first actual settlement wasn’t established until 1140.

History has left its mark on Porrentruy and can be seen in the many Baroque, Gothic and Neoclassical buildings still standing.   Let’s go discover what’s hidden within the streets of Porrentruy!

Porrentruy Chateau Switzerland

Le Chateau Porrentry by Anne Monard jura.ch

  • The city is shadowed by a medieval castle that dates back to the 13th century and was once the home of the Bishop of Basel (1527-1792).  The Refous Tower is the oldest building standing on the castle grounds today.  The tower was built in 1271 and offers fantastic views to anyone willing to climb up!
  • A portion of the medieval city gate still stands tall even if it was built in 1563.

    Baroque Hôtel Dieu Porrentruy Switzerland

    Baroque Hôtel Dieu Porrentruy Switzerland by Polo7

  • Besides the many baroque buildings in the old town, there are also grand medieval fountains. The Fountain of the Samaritan was built in 1563 and is a stunning fountain depicting a scene from the bible.  The Standard Bearer’s Fountain, built in 1518, was the first fountain to have a figure on top.  Look closely and you will see the symbol of the city at the bottom, the wild boar.
  • The 200 year old Botanical Gardens display many types of plants including those found in the Jura region.  In one building you will even find carnivorous plants!
  • The Hotel Dieu dates back to 1761 when it was a hospital for the needy.  It remained a functioning hospital until 1956 when it became a museum.  Inside this wonderful Baroque building are exhibits detailing the history and culture of both Porrentruy and Switzerland, an old Apotheke and watchmakers display.

    Inside Gothic Saint Pierre church Porrentruy Switzerland by polo7

    Inside Gothic Saint Pierre Church by polo7

  • Porrentruy is home to a Gothic basilica, St. Peter’s Church, that was built from 1321-1333.  The interior of St. Peter’s is very beautiful and houses splendid relics and a Gothic altar.

I have never been to the Jura region but I’ve now decided there is more of Switzerland I need to explore!

View of Porrentruy Switzerland

View of Porrentruy Switzerland by Alain Perret jura.ch

Porrentruy definitely caught my eye!

Has it caught yours?

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  5. Born27 says:

    Wow! The structures are amazing! I would love to explore this place someday. You did such a
    good job of describing it, I felt like I was there. Thanks for sharing these awesome photos with us and i’m looking forward on your next post!

  6. Laurel says:

    I hadn’t heard of Porrentruy before, but I’m sold! I need to spend a lot more time in Switzerland!

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I have always loved Switzerland. There is just so much beautiful scenery in this tiny country!

  7. Margo says:

    I have always wanted to spend more time in Switzerland at some point. It just always seems like the less practical option when it comes down to it. I love the way this town looks a little “grand” for only having 6800 residents!
    Margo recently posted..The Best Cocktail Bars in Paris

  8. I always get confused when the Tour de France goes through other countries. How nifty that you got turned on to a new place because of it!
    Scott – Quirky Travel Guy recently posted..Celebrating America’s birthday with inflatable blue monsters in Anchorage

  9. I love these scenic little towns. What a great find, Debbie. I admit I don’t follow the Tour Du France much but when I see it on TV in passing, I like watching the European countryside a whole lot more. That botanical garden with the carnivourous plants sound intriguing to explore.
    Mary @ The World Is A Book recently posted..Iceland’s Golden Circle Photo Tour

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I don’t follow the tour either but when my husband has it on its the scenery I’m looking at and not the bikers 🙂

  10. Nancie says:

    This looks like a beautiful town/area to explore for a day or even two.
    Nancie recently posted..Travel Photo Thursday — July 12, 2012 — A Glimpse of Budapest

  11. Jeff Titelius says:

    What a wonderful photo tour thru Porrentruy! The chateau of the same name is certainly on my bucket list…from the pages of a fairy tale! Thx for this amazing post my friend!
    Jeff Titelius recently posted..Alessandro Gallenzi Shares His Inspiration for ‘InterRail’

  12. Yes, you’ve definitely grabbed my attention. I didn’t get to see much of the race, but I was admiring a lot of scenery when I did. Thanks for finding out about this wonderful village.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Traveling with Flying Colors

  13. Steve says:

    St. Pierre church is beautiful, although I’m with Leigh in that I don’t think I’d want to sit on those chairs for very long. Hope you get to visit Porrentruy soon!
    Steve recently posted..How to Not Look Stupid While Hotel Hopping

  14. Wow, for a little village it has a lot of history and sights to offer. I love small, unexpected towns. What a great find. Thanks for letting us know about it.
    Marisol@TravelingSolemates recently posted..Santorini Part 2: Days after Our Tiny, Skinny Greek Wedding

  15. Christine says:

    Beautiful architecture! I would love to visit this place some day.
    Christine recently posted..A Magical Experience in the Luminarium

  16. Wow, how beautiful, Debbie! I love the architecture; I’d climb that tower anytime to enjoy the view.
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  17. Leigh says:

    Haven’t heard of that place – but would be happy to check it out. The chairs in the church look a tad uncomfortable – perhaps so you focus on the reason you’re there.
    I would definitely check out the 200 year old botanical gardens.
    Leigh recently posted..Hiking the Henry MacLeod Trail in Jasper National Park

  18. Looks like a pleasant place to explore. Very picturesque, especially with the different styles of architecture.
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..Ambrosia: The Tarijeño Breakfast of Champions

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