The entire old city of Laufen, formerly belonging to Jura, is part of the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites and it's worth the visit. And as this little town is ideally situated between the Jura and the Rhine River, it's a good starting point to explore the north of Switzerland.


Here is a very pretty little city whose old town is listed in the Swiss inventory of protected built sites, like much more famous places such as Morat or Estavayer-le-Lac.

It is a place whose history had its ups and downs until the end of the 20th century: property of the Kingdom of Burgundy after the fall of the Roman Empire, the valley of Laufen (or Laufon, in French) was offered to the Archbishopric of Basel in 999, and its destiny was from then on linked to that of the Jura, conquered by France after the Revolution and then offered to the Canton of Bern after the fall of Napoleon.

The "Jura Question", i.e. the desire of the (French-speaking) Jura to become a canton independent of the (German-speaking) canton of Bern, was to produce further upheavals: Laufen voted in the 1970s to remain in the canton of Bern, unlike the other northern districts of the Bernese Jura.

In 1978, when the Swiss people voted by more than 80% to make Jura the 23rd canton of the Confederation, the fate of Laufen remained in doubt and it was not until 1989 that the district decided to become part of the canton of Basel-Landschaft, a change which only became effective five years later.

Laufen, curiously, is indirectly known worldwide: it is home to a famous company, the confectionery factory Richterich & Co, Laufen... Hey yes, Ricola, the mythical herbal candy, which one imagines concocted in the Alps but which in reality is produced at the foot of the Jura! However, there's no need to hope to discover the secrets of the most famous candy in the world: the recipe is kept in a safe, away from the curious and competitors, and it is even better protected than Coca Cola!
This guide features more places in the same region, check them out!
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