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Porrentruy is a historic city in the canton of Jura in the Jura Mountains and Fribourg region of Switzerland. Local people in Jura speak French. Porrentruy offers a multitude of architectural sights. The Castle, the Old Town, many fountains, and old buildings like St. Pierre Church, Hôtel de Gléresse, Church and College of the Jesuits.


Porrentruy was granted a city charter by Rudolf von Habsburg in the thirteenth century. From then on, the city served as the summer residence and from the beginning of the sixteenth century as the permanent residence of the prince-bishop of Basel. At the end of the sixteenth century, Bishop Jacob Cristoph Blarer von Wartensee rebuilt the palace which had been damaged in a fire, and established a highly-respected Jesuit school. Today, these buildings house the canton’s college, the Lycée cantonal. Noteworthy buildings such as the Hôtel de Ville, the Hôtel des Halles, the Hôtel-Dieu, and the Gléresse Mansion were also constructed in the eighteenth century.

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

  • 1 Porrentruy railway station. Porrentruy railway station (Q3097320) on Wikidata Porrentruy railway station on Wikipedia

Porrentruy lies on the Swiss Federal rail lines Delle-Delémont-Bienne (Regio Express) and the S3 route of the Basel Regional S-Bahn towards Basel and Olten. There is also a local rail line of the Chemins de fer du Jura (CJ) between Porrentruy and Bonfol. More info and timetables on SBB website [1] The funny fact is that Porrentruy is the closest city in Switzerland from Paris (... by train via Belfort)

By car[edit]

Porrentruy is on the A16 (or E27) motorway that connects the French motorway network with the rest of the Swiss national road network. It runs south from Boncourt to Biel/Bienne.

By plane[edit]

The closest airport to rely Porrentruy is Euroairport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg. Then Porrentruy is about 1h40min from Basel EuroAirport by train.

By motorcycle[edit]

There are many mountain passes around Porrentruy. Since the motorway A16 is finished, they are perfect for motorcycles because there is almost no traffic.

  • Col des Rangiers
  • Col de la Croix
  • Col de Montvoie
  • Vaufrey - Réclère
  • St-Hyppolite

By bicycle[edit]

Veloland 721

Get around[edit]

Map of Porrentruy

On foot[edit]

This is the standard mode of travel for many within the city. Porrentruy is really small in this way, you will enjoy architectural sights better. The tourism office prepared a special walking tour around Porrentruy.


  • Tourisme office
  • Porrentruy App on AppStore and GooglePlay
  • Réclère's cave


Visit the Castle[edit]

Porrentruy castle is a Swiss heritage site of national significance. Construction of the castle took place between the mid-thirteenth century and the beginning of the eighteenth century. The oldest part is the thirteenth-century Réfous Tower (Tour Réfous). Fourteenth-century ramparts survive on the western and northern sides.

Since 1271 belonging to the bishopric of Basel, the castle served as exile residence of the prince-bishops of Basel from 1527 until 1792. The bishops had been exiled from Basel during the Swiss Reformation in 1529, whereas they were able to keep most of their territories outside the city.

  • 1 Porrentruy Castle. Porrentruy Castle (Q2970284) on Wikidata Porrentruy Castle on Wikipedia

Secret Circuit[edit]

The "Secret Circuit" allows you to see some hidden treasures and secret corners in Porrentruy. Equipped with a badge, you explore different unusual places at the castle and in the old part of town. At some of them, light and sound productions illustrate historic events. Badge rental and information: JuraTourisme Porrentruy

Other points of interest are[edit]

  • Hôtel Dieu (num 1): Located in the centre of the city, this building was erected in 1761 by Pierre-François Paris, court architect to the Prince-Bishop of Basel. The new building also became a hospital and functioned as such until 1956. The Hôtel-Dieu has belonged to the city of Porrentruy since 1983. It was restored between 1987 and 1966, and since 1998 the building has housed the museum of the same name as well as the hospital’s nineteenth-century apothecary.
  • Porte de France (France Door): The gate was rebuilt in 1563 on medieval substructures, and was refurbished in 1744. Two sturdy round towers below a conical roof stand on either side of the passageway, and the structure is topped by a belfry.
  • Quartier Belle Epoque (Beautiful street with a lot of villas): This large residential structure in the middle of a huge park between the river Allaine and the rue Auguste-Cuenin is an example of the combined architectural styles that were popular at the end of the nineteenth century. It has polychrome fronts with bricks, plastering, and exposed beams. Other villas built in the same style line the rue Cuenin which links the historic centre with the railway station.
  • Hôtel de Ville: The city hall stands at the intersection of Porrentruy’s two main thoroughfares. It was designed by Pierre-François Paris and was built between 1761 and 1764. The elegant main facade is in the Baroque style, with an abundance of decorative elements: pedestals topped with vases, an attic with balustrades, and a wrought-iron gate in the Louis XVI style.
  • Hôtel des Halles: This structure was built at the behest of Prince- Bishop Simon-Nicolas de Montjoie between 1766 and 1769; it occupies the site of a Gothic market hall and an inn designed by the architect Pierre-François Paris. The structure originally comprised the cornmarket and the public weighing scales, a hostel for the Prince- Bishop’s guests, and a granary. Nowadays it houses the Cultural Office and the Cantonal Library.
  • Hotel de Gléresse: This three-story city palace, built around 1750 between a courtyard and a garden, was designed by Giovanni Gaspare Bagnato for Conrad de Gléresse, husband of Madeleine Rinck von Baldenstein, the sister of the ruling Prince-Bishop. The basket handle-shaped gate opens onto an entrance hall which has a vaulted arch made of pressed stucco. The palace features a staircase with wrought-iron banisters.
  • St-Pierre Church: This church was built from 1321-33 and was then enlarged at the end of the fourteenth century by the addition of side chapels on the north side. The Chapel of St. Michel was built to the south between 1450 and 1487. The renovations carried out from 1978 to 1982 restored the original character of the church. The stained glass window in the choir is the work of the artist Jean-François Comment. Behind the church, there is a lovely terrace located on top of the city wall, and to the right of the walls, there is a small half-timbered corner pavilion.
  • Temple church: This neo-Gothic church was built in 1890-1891 by architect Paul Reber on the site of the former convent of the Sisters of the Annunciation. There are glass paintings by August Labouret and Henri Vermeille, held in place by concrete, dating from 1937.
  • St-Germain: The Catholic Church of Saint-Germain, was built in the 13th century and restored and expanded in 1698
  • Jesuit Church: The former church of the episcopal court, which is now the auditorium of the Lycée cantonal. This building in the late Gothic style was erected by Nicolas Frick of Ulm in about 1600 and was modified to reflect baroque tastes by Prince-Bishop Jean-Conrad de Roggenbach in about 1680. The church is decorated with sizeable early Baroque stucco work by the stucco plasterers of the Wessobrunn school and is a typical example of the architectural traditions of the Jesuit order.
  • Creugenat River: The Creugenat is an underground watercourse in the commune of Chevenez with a funnel-shaped outlet from which water flows when flooding occurs, creating a temporary river. The water flows across the Courtedoux Plain and into the river Allaine at Porrentruy. The city’s coat of arms is displayed on the parapet of the 19th-century bridge.
  • Chapelle de Lorette


Le Pire Plonk & Replonk[edit]

Grand-Rue 5, 2900 Porrentruy
Le Pire Featuring a dazzling array of curiosities, Le PIRE is an unusual cultural space dedicated to highlighting the works of Plonk & Replonk and their collection of objects. Immerse yourself in their artistic world, with books, comic strips, postcards, stickers, garden gnomes embedded in concrete…

Jurassica Museum[edit]

Route de Fontenais 21, 2900 Porrentruy
Located in idyllic surroundings, the JURASSICA Museum traces the natural heritage of the Jura region. Its rich and varied collections include numerous marine fossils. The exhibition “Faune et flora locales” (local fauna and flora) is dedicated to the appreciation of biodiversity past and present and features, among other things, amazing displays of stuffed animals. A first-rate collection of minerals completes the offering. The JURASSICA Museum’s policy also includes special and temporary exhibitions, covering one or two novel themes every year.

The botanical garden, one of the oldest in Switzerland, is home to an impressive range of roses, cacti, and carnivorous plants. The botanical collections are presented in thematic greenhouses, recreating a range of distinct environments – variety guaranteed! The magnificent outdoor area comprises flower and herb gardens with typical plant species from the Jura region. In the springtime, the flowering Irises offer an experience of rare beauty that should not be missed.

Hôtel Dieu Museum[edit]

Grand-Rue 5, 2900 Porrentruy
mhdp Formerly a hospital in the town until 1956, this magnificent late baroque building welcomes you inside its age-old walls. Inside, you will be surprised to find a modestly sized museum full of works of art that will remind you of the culture and history of this country. One highlight of the visit is the pharmacy, with an atmosphere that will carry you away to a bygone age. Every object is an invitation to discover a long-lost era and will teach you about the history of the place.


The POPA – Porrentruy Optical Art – museum is unique in Europe, presenting a permanent exhibition of an impressive optical art collection. Twice a year, in spring and in autumn, temporary exhibitions of great works of art complement the permanent show.

Galerie du Sauvage[edit]

Chaumont 3, 2900 Porrentruy Art and photography gallery, some weekend Muzak organizes alternative music events there.

Parcs and Natural attractions[edit]

  • Botanical garden: (Route de Fontenais 22, 2900 Porrentruy) - Among the first amenities of their type in Switzerland, the Botanical Gardens were created as long ago as 1792. The Gardens feature various planted areas in an impressive architectural setting; these include a park containing huge 100-year-old trees, a systematic collection of over 80 varieties of rose, and 180 types of iris, as well as a Jura garden with no less than 800 native plant species.
  • Greenhouses: (Located below botanical garden) Visitors can immerse themselves in a series of contrasting yet relaxing ambiances in the greenhouses, built in 1961, which recreate various plant environments. Some of the collections (such as the cacti and tillandsia) are used are for reference purposes. The greenhouses also provide a superb laboratory for plant reproduction, and seeds from this important collection are exchanged with botanical gardens throughout the world. If you're lucky you'll see their two huge ball python (Python regius)
  • Park of Pré-de-L'Etang : Well located downtown, the park Pré-de-L'Étang contains large trees a kiosk, bleachers, and 2 sculptures of naked women. The park is occupied by local teenagers and parents of young children for high-altitude games, sandboxes, slides, and swings.
    Every year, around mid-August, the festival "Les digitales" organizes several electronic music concerts.
    Every 2 years, odd years, the festival world of colors (monde de couleurs) takes place in this park for 3 nights of world music concerts.
  • Park Bellevue or Park Mouche: (Chemin des Cras, 2900 Porrentruy) - Nice natural park located above the castle.
  • Corbat's ponds (Étangs Corbat): (Rue de l'Etang, 2900 Porrentruy) - Two ponds, where local like to walk.
  • La Perche indoor lodging (Cabane de la Perche in french ): (Chemin de la Perche, 2900 Porrentruy) Probably one of the best view of Porrentruy. Set in a hill and a bit outside of the city is THE best place to enjoy the sunset. The indoor lodging provides 2 fireplaces but you need to book and pay if you want a woodpile.


St-Martin Festival[edit]

The festival of St. Martin takes place on the second weekend in November and "Revira" on the third. During the two weekends, the market of St. Martin in Porrentruy with its 50 artisanal stands is one of the major highlights. The wooden cabins display a rich variety of regional products and handicrafts.

Flea Market[edit]

The market takes place every two years (even numbers) on the last weekend of August, on three days from Friday to Sunday. Performances and activities accompany the event on all three days, culminating in the famous fireworks on Saturday night.

Other events[edit]


  • Market: Rue des Malvoisins, Buy local food and handicrafts every Thursday and Saturday morning
  • Magasin du monde: Rue des Malvoisins 14 Eco/FairTrade and worldwide food and handicrafts
  • Au près de chez Vous: Rue des Malvoisins 2, Buy local food and handicrafts
  • Gift Basket Store: Rue Pierre-Péquignat 6, Buy local homemade handicrafts
  • ô Vergers d'Ajoie: Combe Bruequelin 27 Local distilled products, homemade apple juice, museum (located a bit outside the city, you need a car or a bike to go there)
  • Nora Mario: Rue Auguste-Cuenin 19, Delicious Bakery

+ Many shopping malls like (Migros, Denner, Coop)


Traditional and regional food are

  • Totché: The only savoury cream cake in Switzerland, Toétché is made with sour cream. This typical Jura specialty is an integral part of St. Martin's meal and is served as a dessert. It is also a common local appetizer.
  • Ajoie sausage (Saucisse d'Ajoie in French): The saucisse d'Ajoie is a sausage with a fine, delicate flavour and a perfect consistency, neither greasy nor dry. Every bite releases a delicate aroma of cumin. It is boiled or grilled before serving. There's also the smallest version called croquante.
  • Tête de Moine Cheese (Literally Monk's head): Tête de Moine AOP cheese is older than the Swiss Confederation (1291). The cheese of the monks of Bellelay is first mentioned a century before the birth of our country. Historical documents show that precious cheese was used as a means of payment. At the end of the 18th century, the cheese from Bellelay was renamed "Tête de Moine".


  • Colonie italienne: Rue Pierre-Péquignat 40, Simply the best and cheapest pizza in Porrentruy. Beautiful and quiet terrace during summer
  • Gambrinus: Located in the center close to Coop and Esplanade shopping mall. Gambrinus serves great burgers between 12-18 CHF
  • Alibaba Kebab: Located in the old town, not really cheap neither good kebabs
  • Hotel de la Gare
  • La Bella Ciao: Near the train station, good pizzas (check the timetables)
  • Monkey Bar: Rue Pierre-Péquignat 7, Pancake house


  • Brasserie des Deux Clefs
  • L'inter
  • Les 3 tonneaux (fr cheese local speciality)
  • La cigogne
  • Buffet de la Gare
  • Yummi Cafe


  • L'orchidee
  • Le Terminus
  • Auberge du Mouton
  • Le Bellevue


  • Atelier 4[dead link]: Rue Pierre-Péquignat 4, It's not only a good place to drink a coffee, but it's also a place to repair your bicycle. Atelier 4 is a design and well-located café. During summertime, you can also enjoy the beautiful terrace. Sam, the owner, is a tea and coffee lover. Certainly, the best place if you like coffee, bicycles, and beautiful design.
  • Auberge d'Ajoie: Rue Gustave-Amweg 1, Auberge d'Ajoie is a historical building in Porrentruy. It's a café and a hotel that serves delicious biologic teas, homemade pastry and cakes, and many local products like plates of cold cuts and cheese, beers, syrup
  • Yummi: Faubourg St-Germain 2, well served coffee, Asiatic food, and sushi bar


  • Chez Stef
  • Le Pic
  • La Sirène
  • Le Faucon



  • Auberge d'Ajoie
  • Mr. Alain Gatherat


  • Aux Prés de Chez Vous
  • Un Ange Passe Guest House
  • Hôtel de la Gare
  • Auberge du Mouton
  • Hôtel Restaurant le Terminus
  • Hôtel Restaurant Bellevue

Go next[edit]

  • La Calèche
  • CCDP
  • Muzak
  • La Poste
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