Place de la Liberté with the statue of Claude Lecourbe
|Canton||Lons-le-Saunier-1 and 2|
|Intercommunality||Bassin de Lons-le-Saunier|
|• Mayor (2014–2020)||Jacques Pélissard|
|7.68 km2 (2.97 sq mi)|
|• Density||2,400/km2 (6,100/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||243–415 m (797–1,362 ft) |
(avg. 255 m or 837 ft)
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
The town is in the heart of the Revermont region, at the foot of the first plateau of the Jura massif. The Jura escarpment extends to the east and south, while to the west lies the plain of Bresse and to the north extensive vineyards.
The River Vallière runs through the town, rising in a typical Jura blind valley not far away, at Revigny. It has been conduited since the 1960s on grounds of hygiene, since sewage outlets run into it. A small section remains in the open air near the parc des Bains, and only a single bridge (the pont de la Guiche) remains.
The town is approximately equally placed between Besançon, Dijon, Bourg-en-Bresse and Geneva, though the last of these lies on the other side of the Jura massif. It is served by the A39 autoroute, by which Dijon can be reached in about an hour and Lyon in an hour and a half. The town's railway station lies on the line from Strasbourg to Lyon.
The Jura escarpment to the south and east is a popular tourist region, with its attractions including the lakes of Chalain, Clairvaux and Vouglans (at Lect, Jura), and mountain resorts such as Prénovel and Les Rousses.
In terms of area, Lons-le-Saunier is the second smallest prefectural town in France, after Bobigny.
The 1878 edition of the Globe Encyclopaedia of Universal Information described Lons-le-Saunier:
Lons-le-Saunier, the chief town of the department of Jura, France, on the Vallière, 60 miles S.E. of Dijon by rail. It is picturesquely girt by high mountains, the lower slopes of which are clad with vines. There are copper and iron foundries, and a trade in horses, cattle, grain, cheese, etc. . . . The celebrated salt-springs yield 20,000 ctr. yearly. Pop. (1872) 9427. Lons-le-Saunier is the ancient Ledo Saliiiaritit.
- Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle (1760–1836), composer of La Marseillaise, the French national anthem
- Étienne Bobillier (1798–1840), mathematician
- Maurice Joly (1829–78), satirist and lawyer
- René Rémond (born 1918), historian and political economist
- Jeanne Champion (born 1931), French painter and writer
- Guy Canivet (born 1943), judge
- Jean-Claude Romand, medical imposter
- Jean-François Stévenin (born 1944), actor and filmmaker
- Bernard Clavel (1923–2010), novelist
- Félix Lambey (1994-), rugby player
- General Claude Lecourbe (1759–1815) studied in Lons; a statue of him stands in the central Place de la Liberté