La Chaux-de-Fonds is totally unlike any other town that I have visited … Perched at an altitude of 1000 meters, surrounded by meadows and pine forests, and as regular as a chessboard: I was drawn to this town right from the start. Brochure in hand, I learned that La Chaux-de-Fonds was totally destroyed by a fire in the 18th century, making way for a new town that was organised for the benefit of the watchmaking industry and the wellbeing of its population. It also became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009 because of the way watchmaking has shaped its urban development. But it is equally proud to be the birthplace of Le Corbusier, and is a showpiece of Art nouveau."
Together with its neighbour, Le Locle, the town has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009 because of the way watchmaking has shaped its urban development. Youthful works by Le Corbusier bear witness to the architect's burgeoning genius, and the town is also home to a host of Art nouveau treasures. Must see: the Watchmaking and Urban Development Exhibition (Espace de l'Urbanisme Horloger), the International Watchmaking Museum, Le Corbusier's White House (Maison blanche), and the Art nouveau stairwells and crematorium
Good to know
- Our brochure, "La Chaux-de-Fonds On Foot", offers a choice of two routes: the first, which takes two hours, guides visitors to Le Corbusier's Villa turque, and various architectural and Art nouveau treasures. The second, which lasts 45 minutes, focuses on the heart of the town and its old quarter. You can obtain the brochure from our tourism offices.
- Another brochure, "La Chaux-de-Fonds – Watchmaking and Urban Development", suggests a themed route through the town, divided into 40 sections.
- Also: refer to our "City tours" section for guided tours.
- Tell goes west : put in a replica of Willhem Tell's statue on Rat Island near New York, along with the Amercan and Swiss flags as well as road signs, one indicating La Chaux-de-Fonds : this is a crazy project imagined by the Swiss light artist Gerry Hofstetter on July 31, 2016, on the occasion of the Swiss national day. An original way of focusing on democracy and freedom, the values that are shared between Switzerland and United States, as well as on the links with La Chaux-de-Fonds : Louis Chevrolet, Blaise Cendrars, American style city, Maison blanche.
DownloadCity map La Chaux-de-Fonds | PDF, 3.51 MB
La Chaux-de-Fonds On Foot | PDF, 9.17 MB
La Chaux-de-Fonds – Watchmaking and Urban Development | PDF, 3.21 MB
2300 La Chaux-de-Fonds
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