Location of Jura in France
|• President of the General Council||Gérard Bailly|
|• Total||4,999 km2 (1,930 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||1,200 m (3,900 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||200 m (700 ft)|
|• Density||52/km2 (130/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2|
Historically, Jura belonged to the Free County of Burgundy, known in French as the Franche-Comté. Dole was the capital until the region was conquered by Louis XIV and the capital was moved to Besançon. Dole is now a sous-préfecture, or sub-prefecture, of Jura.
As early as the 13th century, inhabitants of the southern two-thirds of Jura spoke a dialect of Arpitan language. It continued to be spoken in rural areas into the 20th century.
Jura is one of the original 83 departments, it being the created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. It was created from part of the former province of Franche-Comté. The prefecture (capital) is Lons-le-Saunier.
Jura is one of eight departments of the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region and is surrounded by the French departments of Doubs, Haute-Saône, Côte-d'Or, Saône-et-Loire, and Ain, as well as the Swiss canton of Vaud on the east.
The Jura mountains are wooded and rolling, not craggy and rocky like the Alps.
Many lakes can be found throughout the Jura - the largest natural lake being Lac de Chalain, measuring 3 km long and 1 km wide. Lac de Vouglans was formed after the building of a hydro-electric dam. It is one of the largest man-made lakes in France.
|•||Union for a Popular Movement||15|
|French Communist Party||3|
The climate of the Jura varies greatly by elevation. The lower valleys are temperate and pleasant, but the high mountain valleys have bitterly cold winters.
Jura is a wine-growing region. The Jura wines are very distinctive and unusual wines, such as vin jaune, which is made by a similar process to sherry, developing under a flor of yeast. This is made from the local Savagnin grape variety. Other grape varieties include Poulsard, Trousseau, and Chardonnay.
The department contains no industrial cities: the few towns function as administrative and commercial centres serving Jura's rural economy. In the absence of large-scale industrial enterprises, small artisanal businesses play an important role. The Jura CFA (Centre for apprenticeship and training) recently recorded 752 current apprenticeships in trades such as building, baking, butchery, hair dressing, car repairing, sales and other non-factory based occupations.
The Jura mountains provide ample opportunities for hiking, skiing, and other winter sports.