Les Rousses

Les Rousses is a commune in the French department of Jura in the Franche -Comté. Les Rousses is a tourist resort in the High Jura.


Les Rousses is located at 1115 m above sea level. M., five kilometers south-southeast of Morez and about 32 km north of the city of Geneva (air line). The village is located in the Jura, on a plateau southwest of Lac des Rousses, above the Quertals of Morez, on the southern edge of the Forêt du Risoux, near the border with Switzerland.

The area of ​​38.00 km ² municipal area includes a portion of the French Jura. The main settlement area occupied by the plateau of Les Rousses, the average at 1100 m above sea level. M. lies and has a total area of ​​9 km ². This plateau forms the watershed between the catchment areas of the Rhône ( in the west) and the Rhine (east ). It falls steeply to the west to the Gorges de la Chaille from, a deep erosion valley which follows a fault line across the Jura chain. Drained the valley by the Bief de la Chaille, a tributary of Bienne, where the river always marks the boundary of the municipality.

To the east the plateau of Les Rousses is only tilted imperceptibly. It is by the Lac des Rousses ( 1058 m above sea level. M. ) and its surrounding moorland limited. The lake, fed by various streams ( including the Bief Noir ), forms the headwaters of the river Orbe and forwards towards the upper valley of the Vallée de Joux on, one more than 1 km wide valley floor between two anticlines of the Jura Mountains. The southern border is always at the foot of the adjacent chain of Mont Noir.

To the north, the municipality's area extends into the vast forest area of the Forêt du Risoux, which forms the southwestern closure of Mont Risoux. This trackless forest landscape shows typical karst phenomena such as sinkholes, karst formations and above ground septic wells, because the rainwater seeps into the porous limestone substrate. On a knoll near the Fort du Risoux is with 1302 m above sea level. M. reached the highest elevation of Les Rousses. The area of Les Rousses is part of the Parc Naturel Régional du Haut- Jura.

At Les Rousses addition to the actual site also includes several settlements, hamlets, groups of farms and individual farms, including:

  • La Doye ( 746 m above sea level. M. ) in a basin at the Bienne south of Morez
  • Trélarce (1020 m above sea level. M. ) on a terrace above the valley of Bienne
  • Le Bas Sagy ( 984 m above sea level. M. ) on a ridge above the valley of Bienne
  • Les Rousses -en- Bas ( 1082 m above sea level. M. ) north of the village itself
  • Les Rousses d'Amont ( 1088 m above sea level. M. ) at the edge of the Forêt du Risoux at a source stream of the river Orbe
  • Le Bief de la Chaille ( 1041 m above sea level. M. ) in the valley of the eponymous creek at the northern foot of the Montagne des Tuffes
  • La Cure ( 1155 m above sea level. M. ), border town and customs station at the entrance to Givrine
  • Les Plans ( 1088 m above sea level. M. ) south of Lac des Rousses at the western foot of the Mont Noir
  • Le Gravier ( 1086 m above sea level. M. ) south of Lac des Rousses at the foot of Mont Noir
  • Bourbe La ( 1077 m above sea level. M. ) in the valley of the Orbe north of Mont Noir
  • Le Vivier -des- Rousses ( 1074 m above sea level. M. ) north of Lac des Rousses at the foot of the Forêt du Risoux

Neighboring municipalities of Les Rousses are Prémanon and Longchaumois in the West, Morez in the north, Bois- d'Amont to the northeast and the Swiss municipalities Arzier and Saint- CERGUE in the southeast.


Is first mentioned Les Rousses in the 13th century. Here, a conference was held in 1596 to determine the boundary line between the Free County of Burgundy and Switzerland. Together with the Franche -Comté reached the village with the Peace of Nijmegen in 1678 to France. 1815, the transition at Les Rousses was secured by two forts to control the input to France.

The military strategically important Vallée des Dappes belonged since 1648 to Switzerland, but was annexed by Napoleon I in 1805. After the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the previous ownership have been restored, but the valley remained a bone of contention between Switzerland and France. The Dappentalfrage was solved in 1862 by a field Abtausch, which had an impact on the municipality of Les Rousses. The western part of the valley was definitely in France and its most northerly section of Les Rousses has been assigned. In return, Les Rousses had to cede a part of its community area on the slopes of Mont Noir in Switzerland.

With the completion of the meter-gauge railway line of the Chemin de fer Nyon -Saint- Cergue- Morez on March 7, 1921 Les Rousses received a rail connection to Nyon in Switzerland and after Morez. The railway served next to the passenger transport and the transport of goods (especially for wood from the high Jura). The operation on the French section of this line, however, was set in 1958.


The parish church of Les Rousses was built in the 18th century. From the same period dates back to the chapel Notre -Dame-de -la- Frontières. Built in 1815 Fort des Rousses is one of the largest forts of its kind in France. In the vast cellars today cheeses are stored. On the forest height north of Lac des Rousses is located to the Fort du Risoux another fortification. Les Rousses has a ski museum, which also serves as a local history museum for the region.


With 3150 inhabitants (as of 1 January 2011) Les Rousses is one of the medium-sized towns in the Jura. After the population had decreased significantly in the first half of the 20th century (1886 2941 people were still counted ), was particularly again noted a significant increase in population during the 1980s.

Economy and infrastructure

Les Rousses has long been a predominantly coined by agriculture, especially livestock and dairy farming, as well as by the forestry village. Early on, also developed the craft, at first primarily as a sideline for farmers during the winter months. At the beginning of the 20th century established itself in Les Rousses the production of glasses; later, as an important business to a ski factory that its operation in 1990 but ceased. Today there are various companies of small and medium enterprises. Meanwhile, Les Rousses has transformed itself into a tourist resort and into a residential community. Many workers commute to Morez or Switzerland to work.


As a resort in a popular tourist area in the High Jura Les Rousses is now benefiting significantly from tourism. It belongs to the winter sports area Rousses Haut-Jura. Although the development of the ski resort began in 1900, but sat really only during the 1970s a. The slopes of the Mont Noir are accessible by numerous ski lifts for alpine skiing. The ski on the slopes of Dole and the Montagne des Tuffes are easily accessible from Les Rousses. Besides skiing Les Rousses is thanks to the extensive highlands a center of Nordic skiing. The municipality has several hotels, apartments and holiday camps. The center of Les Rousses is characterized by numerous souvenir shops and shops where recreational and sporting goods are sold.

During the summer months are recreational activities such as hiking, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, horseback riding and hunting in the foreground. East of Les Rousses is a golf course (Golf du Rochat and Golf du Mont -Saint- Jean).


The village has good transport links. It lies on the main road N5, which runs from Geneva via the Col de la Faucille after Morez and on to Dole. Other regional road links exist with Nyon and Le Brassus. The nearest links to the motorway network, the Swiss A1, is located at a distance of around 23 km.