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Title: Arbois  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Jean-Paul Jeunet, Jura wine, Isabelle Mancini, Wine regions of France, Pasteurization
Collection: Communes of Jura (Department), Wine Regions of France
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Town hall
Town hall
Flag of Arbois
Coat of arms of Arbois
Coat of arms
Arbois is located in France
Country France
Region Franche-Comté
Department Jura
Arrondissement Lons-le-Saunier
Canton Arbois
Intercommunality Val de la Cuisance
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Bernard Amiens
Area1 45.42 km2 (17.54 sq mi)
Population (2010)2 3,520
 • Density 77/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 French commune in the Jura department in the Franche-Comté region of eastern France. The Cuisance River passes through the town, which has some pretty streets lined with ancient houses. The town centres on an arcaded central square where one can sample the local wines.[1]

The commune has been awarded two flowers by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in the Competition of cities and villages in Bloom.[2]


  • Geography 1
    • Communication and transport 1.1
    • Hydrology 1.2
    • Climate 1.3
    • Neighbouring communes and villages 1.4
  • History 2
    • Heraldry 2.1
  • Administration 3
  • Population 4
  • Economy 5
    • Agriculture 5.1
    • Industry 5.2
  • Culture and heritage 6
    • Civil heritage 6.1
    • Religious heritage 6.2
  • Personalities 7
    • Born in Arbois 7.1
    • Residents 7.2
  • See also 8
  • References 9
    • Bibliography 9.1
    • External links 9.2


The Cuisance at Arbois

Arbois is located some 40 km south-west of Besançon and 30 km south-east of Dole. It has a typical Revermont landscape. The plain is mainly used for cropping of cereals on medium-sized plots of land. The lower slopes consist mainly of meadows surrounded by small hedges for dairy farming. There are some vineyards in the same area. The rest of the hills is occupied by small vineyards with a few scattered meadows. The top of the hills and the plateau are heavily forested.

Communication and transport

Arbois railway station

Access to the commune is by Route nationale N83 which comes from Mouchard in the north and passes through the town before continuing south to Buvilly. The D469 goes west from the village to Mathenay and the D107 goes east to Mesnay. The D14 goes north to Villers-Farlay and the D246 goes south to Pupillin.[3]

The town is about 40 minutes drive from Dole (35 km), Besançon (48 km) and Lons-le-Saunier (38 km). It takes about 1 hour 30 minutes to Geneva and 1 hour 45 minutes to Lyon.

SNCF Arbois

The railway station is just north of the town and all TER Franche-Comté (Besançon-Lyon) trains serve this station. The nearest TGV station is at Mouchard on the Paris-Switzerland line.


There is a small aerodrome in the north of the commune with the ICAO code LFGD and a restricted use runway.


The Cuisance at Arbois

Arbois is traversed by the Cuisance river and is part of Revermont since it lies at the foot of the Plateau of Lons-le-Saunier, the first plateau of the Jura.

Together with Salins-les-Bains and Poligny it forms "Revermont Country".


This small historic city has a very mild climate with little humidity. The presence of vineyards reflects this and the Loue and Doubs rivers are far enough away to limit the occurrence of fog in the winter. The influence of the small Cuisance river is low. The climate is rather continental with cold winters and little snow but hot in summer.

Neighbouring communes and villages[3]


The Pont des Capucins on the Cuisance in Arbois

The origin of the town of Arbois dates back to remote times but it is difficult to be specific. It is certain however that its wines were known to the Romans.

Until 1260 Arbois was a villa or town without defences: it was surrounded by ramparts during the following ten years.

Arbois endured seven sieges when it was part of the Duchy of Burgundy including sackings by Charles I of 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. A castle was built in 1270, some vestiges of which survived the dismantling that Louis XIV ordered in 1678 following the conquest of Franche-Comté. There remain stretches of wall, pierced for archers, three round towers, and the square Gloriette tower.

When the republic was proclaimed at Lyon on 13 April 1834 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.

The U.S. 36th Infantry Division liberated Arbois in September 1944 as it moved up the Rhône towards Besançon and then on to the Moselle.[4]


A Biou

The Arbois symbol is the heraldic pelican which is called a Pelican in her piety who is feeding her young from her beak. This is a Christian symbol and is accompanied by the motto of the city which is Sic his quos diligo (So I do for those I love). The Arbois band, which plays during the Biou festival is called Le Pelican in reference to this symbolic bird. There is also a Guggenmusik band called Biou'Z'Musik.

The arms use the colours of the city: yellow (gold) and black (sable) which are an allusion to yellow wine and dark forests.

Arms of Arbois

Azure, a pelican in her piety Argent, vulned Gules, nest Or.


List of Successive Mayors[5]
From To Name Party Position
2001 2008 Raymond Page UMP
2008 2020 Bernard Amiens

(Not all data is known)


Population Change
1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
6,649 6,414 6,555 6,424 6,741 7,131 7,002 6,958 6,901
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
6,007 6,672 5,895 5,273 5,027 4,957 4,666 4,355 4,240
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
4,209 4,093 3,926 3,475 3,616 3,681 3,627 3,457 3,733
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2010 -
3,960 4,209 4,089 3,998 3,900 3,698 3,509 3,520 -

Sources : Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 (population without double counting and municipal population from 2006)

The Town Hall
Population of Arbois


Arbois is a small rural town with a rich historical heritage and important advantages for agricultural activity such as viticulture, an industrial enterprise among the 10 largest in the department, and tourism based on its heritage and gastronomy.

There is, however, hide some economic fragility with an aging population and sensitive industries at risk of relocation, a degradation of the diversity of shopping, and an overestimation of the value of property to deter young households.


Henri Maire in Arbois

The area produces some of the best Jura wines, including vin jaune (yellow wine) and vin de Paille (straw wine), in the Arbois AOC. This is the dominant activity. Arbois has many wineries such as Henri Maire, Rolet, Tissot, Claret, Gahier, and Fumey-Chatelain.

The Arbois Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) 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 in the commune), Pinot Noir and Trousseau.

About 70% of Jura's red wines are produced under the Arbois name, along with about 30% of its whites.[1]

Some bottles are labeled with the saying (in French): "Arbois wine, the more you drink, the more it goes right!". An old familiar song, the Tourdion is a song on the wines of Anjou or Arbois. It is also mentioned by Jacques Brel in his song Pour mon dernier repas (For my last meal) as well as by Hubert-Félix Thiéfaine in La cancoillotte (The cream cheese). In 1285 the Count of Chiny used to offer it to his guests during the Chauvency Tournament according to the troubadour Jacques Bretel who drank it in the company of Henri de Briey.

Arbois also has dairy farms (Montbéliarde breed) in the AOC of Comté and Morbier.


Industries other than wine contribute to the wealth of the commune including Bost-Garnache Industries (Stanley/Facom Group) which manufactures screwdrivers, SIOBRA who do zinc injection moulding, and CIFC who build industrial wood framing.

Culture and heritage

The Chateau Bontemps

Civil heritage

The commune has a number of buildings and structures that are registered as historical monuments:

  • The Brand consorts House (13th century)[6]
  • The Hydro-Electric Power Station (20th century)[7]
  • The Delort House (18th century)[8]
  • The Hotel de Broissia (19th century)[9]
  • The Fruitière vinicole d'Arbois (1818)[10]
  • The Béchet Mill at 2 Avenue Pasteur (18th century)[11]
  • The Chateau of Verreux at 2 Rue de Verreux (18th century)[12]
  • The Chateau Bontemps (16th century)[13]
  • The Gloriette Tower (16th century).[14] The Tour Gloriette (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 principal elements of the city's ramparts which stretched for some 1200 metres. It was badly damaged in 1503 when the Cuisance overflowed its banks. With a height of 17 metres and a square base 11 metres on each side, the current tower was restored at the beginning of the 16th century. Although the city was attacked by several armies, the tower itself was never attacked.
  • Louis Pasteur's House (18th century).[15] The Pasteur House contains many items that are registered as historical objects:
    • A Bathtub (19th century)[16]
    • A Tabletop Still (19th century)[17]
    • A Painting: Virgin and Child (15th century)[18]
    • 3 Daguerreotypes (19th century)[19]
    • An Inkwell (19th century)[20]
    • A Bon Marché box (19th century)[21]
    • A Drawing: The Funerals of Atala (19th century)[22]
    • A Drawing: Bust of a young woman (1843)[23]
    • A Plate: Pasteur born at Dole (19th century)[24]
    • A Painting: A clear night at Aiguebelette Lake (19th century)[25]
    • A Statue: Christ (18th century)[26]
    • A Praxinoscope (1879)[27]
    • A Gypsum Plate (19th century)[28]
    • 3 Chairs (18th century)[29]
    • A Commode (18th century)[30]
  • The Palace of Justice (Law Courts) contains a Bronze Clock (1819) which is registered as an historical object.[31]
  • The Château Pécaud and Velfaux Tower (11th century).[32] The Château Pécauld was built in the 11th and 14th centuries and once belonged to the Dukes of Burgundy. It now houses a small museum dedicated to wine growing and production. By the 13th century it was part the defences 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 16th 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 Wines of Jura restored it.
Other sites of Interest
  • The Hôtel d'Achey (17th century), then became Sarret de Grozon (19th century), Grande Rue, today an Art Museum which displays, among others, the works of Gustave Courbet;
  • The Fountain of Lions (19th century), Place de la Liberté;
  • A Fountain (19th century), Rue de Courcelles;
  • The 'Saut de la Cuisance (Cuisance Falls), near the bridge on Rue de l'Hôtel de ville;
  • The Arbois Wine-growing area (partially replanted in the 19th century);
  • The Belvédère de l'Hermitage (20th century).
  • Les Planches Cave (Grotte des Planches) (5 km away)
  • The Hotel-Dieu contains three items that are registered as historical objects:
    • A Painting: Saint Antoine (17th century)[33]
    • A Painting: Saint François (17th century)[34]
    • A Painting: Saint Marthe (17th century)[35]
  • The Hospital contains several religious and other items that are registered as historical objects:
    • A Chalice with its Paten (18th century)[36]
    • A Casket for Holy Oil (18th century)[37]
    • A Wooden Clock (18th century)[38]
    • A Bronze Mortar (17th century)[39]
    • 70 Ceramic Pharmaceutical Jars (17th century)[40]
    • A Bronze Clock (1738)[41]

Religious heritage

The commune has several religious buildings and structures that are registered as historical monuments:

  • The old Ursuline Convent (18th century)[42]
  • The Church of Saint-Just (11th century)[43] The Church of Saint-Just has a 12th-century nave, a 13th-century vault, a 16th-century chancel, and a 17th-century church tower. The organ is rated as a historic monument and was restored in 1985. The church contains a very large number of items that are registered as historical objects. For a complete list (in French) with links to descriptions and pictures click here.
Other religious sites of interest
  • The old Collegiate College of Notre-Dame (14th-18th centuries), Rue Notre-Dame, converted into a wheat market in 1802 and today a Cultural Centre;
  • The Chapel of Notre-Dame Libératrice (17th century) at l'Hermitage (Avenue Pasteur). The Church has a group of items that is registered as an historical object:
    • An Altar, Retable, Altar seating, 2 Credenzas, and a frame (17th century)[44]
  • The Presbytery contains several items that are registered as historical objects:
    • A Painting: The Nativity (16th century)[45]
    • A Pitcher and Basin (18th century)[46]
    • A Statuette/Reliquary: The Immaculate Virgin (1854)[47]
    • A Cross: Christ on the Cross (18th century)[48]


Jean-Charles Pichegru
Monument to Louis Pasteur in Arbois

Born in Arbois

  • Jean Vuillemin, Doctor and poet from the 16th century;
  • Joseph Morel (?-1595), Captain of the County, Defender of Arbois during the siege by troops of French General Armand de Gontaut-Biron;
  • Jean Étienne Joseph Baud (1734-1803), sub-prefect of Saint-Claude;
  • Jean Étienne Baron (1736-1803), sub-prefect of Saint-Claude;
  • Pierre Bouvenot (1748-1833), Magistrate, President of the Court of Arbois;
  • Jean-Baptiste Courvoisier (1749-1803), Lawyer at the Parliament of Franche-Comté;
  • Pierre Claude Bousson (1752-1845), Captain of the 3rd regiment of Dragoons and Knight of the Order of Saint Louis;
  • Ignace François Bousson (1759-1825), General and Noble of the Empire, Knight of the Legion of Honour;
  • Jean-Charles Pichegru (1761-1804), General, Commander in Chief of the commandant en chef de l'Army of the Rhine, MP for Jura;
  • François Guinchard (1764-?), Captain of the Army;
  • Jean-Antoine David (1767-1799), General of Brigade;
  • Jacques-Antoine-Adrien Delort (1773-1848), General and Noble of the Empire;
  • Charles Anne Joseph Domet de Mont (1777-1848), Soldier, Geologist, Councillor for Jura, and Knight of the Legion of Honour;
  • Charles Victor Barbier (1787-1860), Captain of the Army;
  • Claude Charles Joseph Gabriel Jolliton (1774-1836), Captain, Knight of the Legion of Honour;
  • Jean-Pierre Jarre (1775-1856), Captain, Knight of the Legion of Honour;
  • Claude François Boisson (1784-1836), Adjutant to the 4th Regiment of Hussars, Saint Helena Medal;
  • Jean-François Saillard (1785-1839), Captain, Knight of the Legion of Honour and the Order of Saint-Louis;
  • François-Joseph Noir (1787-?), Sergeant in the Old Guard, Saint Helena Medal;
  • Anne Claude Belon d'Aligny (?-1834), Noble of the Empire;
  • Auguste Napoléon Parandier (1804-1905), Engineer, Inspector-General of Bridges and Dykes;
  • Alphonse Joseph Charles de Moréal Brevans (1823-?), artist-painter and designer;
  • Auguste Pointelin (1839-1933), painter-landscape gardener;
  • Jules Viennet, sculptor in the 19th century;
  • Ernest Caroillon (1861-?), cleric and historian;
  • Emmanuel Templeux (1871-1957), artist-painter;
  • Joseph Sylvestre Sauget (1871-1955), botanist;
  • André Baud (1879-1950), politician;
  • Charles Brune (1891-1956), politician;
  • Jean Badré (1913-2001), Officer in the French Army then Priest and Bishop, decorated with the Croix de Guerre, the Resistance Medal, and the Legion of Honour;
  • Gabriel Girard (1920-1944), a maquisard who participated in an attack on the German police on 14 March 1944, arrested on 26 March, condemned to death on 30 May, and executed on 1 June at the Citadel of Besançon;
  • François Chambelland (1923-1941), resistance fighter, arrested on 1 March 1941 and shot on 18 September at the Citadel of Besançon;
  • Jean-Luc Bouilleret (1953-), Bishop of Besançon;
  • Jean-Paul Jeunet (1954-), Chef at Arbois (2 Michelin Stars);
  • Yves Gravel (-), Painter


See also


  • INSEE statistics
  1. ^ a b Arbois wine at wine searcher
  2. ^ Arbois in the Competition for Towns and Villages in Bloom (French)
  3. ^ a b Google Maps
  4. ^ INSEE commune file INSEE commune file
  5. ^ List of Mayors of France (French)
  6. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00101804 Brand consorts House (French)
  7. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA39000102 Hydro-Electric Power Station (French)
  8. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA39000069 Delort House (French)
  9. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00101802 Hotel de Broissia (French)
  10. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA39000131 Fruitière vinicole d'Arbois (French)
  11. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA39000100 Mill at 2 Avenue Pasteur (French)
  12. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA39000017 Chateau of Verreux at 2 Rue de Verreux (French)
  13. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00102058 Chateau Bontemps (French)
  14. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00101805 Gloriette Tower (French)
  15. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00101803 Louis Pasteur's House (French)
  16. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39003576 Bathtub (French)
  17. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39003575 Tabletop Still (French)
  18. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39003476 Painting: Virgin and Child (French)
  19. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39003462 3 Daguerreotypes (French)
  20. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39003454 Inkwell (French)
  21. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39003450 Bon Marché box (French)
  22. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39003445 Drawing: The Funerals of Atala (French)
  23. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39003444 Drawing: Bust of a young woman (French)
  24. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39003443 Plate: Pasteur born at Dole (French)
  25. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39003442 Painting: A clear night at Aiguebelette Lake (French)
  26. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39003426 Statue: Christ (French)
  27. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39003421 Praxinoscope (French)
  28. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39003399 Gypsum Plate (French)
  29. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39003384 3 Chairs (French)
  30. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39003382 Commode (French)
  31. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39000029 Bronze Clock (French)
  32. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00101800 Château Pécaud and Velfaux Tower (French)
  33. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39003495 Painting: Saint Antoine (French)
  34. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39003494 Painting: Saint François (French)
  35. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39003493 Painting: Saint Marthe (French)
  36. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39000051 Chalice with its Paten (French)
  37. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39000050 Casket for Holy Oil (French)
  38. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39000028 Wooden Clock (French)
  39. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39000027 Bronze Mortar (French)
  40. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39000026 70 Ceramic Pharmaceutical Jars (French)
  41. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39000025 Bronze Clock (French)
  42. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00125400 Ursuline Convent (French)
  43. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00101801 Church of Saint-Just (French)
  44. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39000037 Altar, Retable, Altar seating, 2 Credenzas, and a frame (French)
  45. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39001651 Painting: The Nativity (French)
  46. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39001650 Pitcher and Basin (French)
  47. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39001649 Statuette/Reliquary: The Immaculate Virgin (French)
  48. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM39000048 Cross: Christ on the Cross (French)


  • Philippe Chaudat. The world of wine. Ethnology of winegrowers of Arbois (Jura), Paris, l’Harmattan, coll. Connaissance des hommes (preface by Jean-Pierre Warnier), 2004 (French)
  • Ernest Girard. Arbois Chronicles, 1906. Reprint in 2003 by Le Livre d'histoire (French)
  • Georges Grand. History of Arbois, 1959. Reprint in 1996 by Le Livre d'histoire (French)
  • Emmanuel Bousson De Mairet. Historical annals and chronologies of the town of Arbois, 1856, Reprint in 2003 by Le Livre d'histoire under the title History of Arbois (French)

External links

  • Official Arbois website (French)
  • Tourism Office website (French)
  • Historical Bibliography of Arbois (Biblioweb) (French)
  • Arbois on Lion1906
  • on the 1750 Cassini MapArbois
  • Arbois on the INSEE website (French)
  • INSEE (French)
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