Clairvaux- les -Lacs is a municipality in the French department of Jura in the Franche -Comté. It is the capital of the canton of Clairvaux- les -Lacs in the arrondissement of Lons- le -Saunier.


Clairvaux- les -Lacs is located at 541 m above sea level. M., about 19 km southeast of the town of Lons -le- Saunier (air line). The town extends in the Jura, on a plateau between the valley of the Ain to the west and the forested chain of the high Jura in the east, north of the Lacs de Clairvaux above the valley of Drouvenant.

The area of ​​12.29 km ² municipal area includes a portion of the French Jura. The main part of the territory occupied by the gently undulating landscape of the plateau east of Ain. Built Lowers in a wide trough are the two lakes Grand Lac and Petit Lac to 527 m above sea level. M. They are lined in various places of moorland and drained to the north. The northern boundary runs in the area of Drouvenant, of the approximately 40 m sunk in a narrow valley in the area west to the Ain flows. In a narrow strip, the municipality's area extends to the southeast across the slowly rising and thickly wooded plateau of the Forêt de la Joux. Here is 826 m above sea level. M. reached the highest elevation of Clairvaux -les -Lacs.

At Clairvaux- les -Lacs addition to the actual site also includes several hamlets and isolated farms, including:

  • Soyria ( 525 m above sea level. M. ) on the plateau east of the Vouglan
  • Le Langard (550 m above sea level. M. ) east in the valley of the Petit Lac at the foot of the Forêt de la Joux

Neighboring communities of Clairvaux -les -Lacs are Vertamboz and Cogna in the north, La Frasnée, Hautecour and Châtel- de -Joux in the east, the south and Soucia Barésia -sur- l'Ain and Boissia in the West.


The area of Clairvaux -les -Lacs can look back on a very long urban tradition. Excavations on the north rim of the Grand Lac remains of a Neolithic riparian settlement were discovered, which was inhabited about 4000 years before Christ. Also, during the Bronze Age, there was a settlement here. Also from the Bronze Age tumuli come to the hamlet Soyria.

Is first mentioned Clairvaux- les -Lacs in the year 1089 under the name of Clara Vallis, what about bright, clear valley means. Since the early 12th century, the existence of a priory is occupied, which was probably at the beginning of settlement development. It was secularized in 1766. Since the Middle Ages Clairvaux was the center of a barony, which was later elevated to a Marquisat. The town of Clairvaux was fortified in the 13th century and received by the local noble family liberties awarded. In the 15th century the Carmelite monastery was founded. Together with the Franche -Comté reached Clairvaux with the Peace of Nijmegen in 1678 to France. To avoid confusion with other towns of the same name, Clairvaux in 1930 was officially renamed Clairvaux- les -Lacs. To a field change occurred in 1959 when the previously independent Soyria was incorporated into Clairvaux- les -Lacs.


The parish church of Saint- Nithier originally dates from the 12th century, but was later remodeled several times. It has a remarkable interior, including the richly carved choir stalls from the 15th century, which was transferred here from the Abbey Baume- les- Messieurs, a crucifix from the 16th century wall paintings and goldsmithing. Also worth seeing are the chapels of Notre- Dame de l' Isle ( 14th century) and Saint Roch (15th century). The latter is located in the cemetery.

Clairvaux- les -Lacs is characterized by a picturesque townscape. The two parallel streets of the old town are lined with houses from the 17th to the 19th century. At the northern end of the town there is a native of the 12th century round tower, the only remains of the former manor house.


With 1417 inhabitants (as of 1 January 2011) Clairvaux- les -Lacs is one of the smaller towns in the Jura. Once the population has consistently had in the first half of the 20th century in the area of around 1000 people, a significant population increase was recorded mainly during the 1950s. On a longer period of stagnation followed again a slow but steady growth from about 1990.

Economy and infrastructure

Clairvaux- les -Lacs has long been a predominantly coined by agriculture and small commercial town. In the 19th century settled in the valley of Drouvenant various operations, which were dependent on hydropower, namely, grain mills, a paper mill and several forges. Today Clairvaux- les -Lacs performs central functions for the surrounding countryside of the Ain Valley. It is home to several companies in the small and medium industry and the retail trade. Among the major industrial sectors, which are represented in Clairvaux- les- Lacs, including wood processing, mechanical workshops, the eyewear industry and construction.

As a resort in a popular tourist area in the western Jura Clairvaux- les -Lacs is now benefiting also from tourism. During the summer months there is the Grand Lac numerous opportunities to partake in leisure and water sports activities. By the lake there are three campsites.

The village has good transport links. It lies on the main road N78, which runs from Lons -le- Saunier to Saint -Laurent -en- Grandvaux. Other regional road links exist with Moirans -en- Montagne, Saint- Lupicin and Pont -du- Navoy.

Sons and daughters of the town

  • Albert François Deriot (1766-1836), General of Infantry