1509 m over sea level, the Jaun Pass connects the German-speaking village of Jaun, in Gruyère (Fribourg Prealps), to the village of Reidenbach, in Simmental (Simme River Valley, Berne Prealps).


Located at an altitude of 1509 metres in the Pre-Alps, the Jaunpass (or Bellegarde Pass) links Gruyère, in the canton of Fribourg, to Simmental, in the canton of Bern.

Unlike most other Swiss passes, the Jaunpass is not a traditional crossing: from the 17th to the 19th century, trade between the Simmental, French-speaking Switzerland and France was conducted via a mule track between Reidenbach and Bellegarde over the Reidigenalp.

This was the route by which the Bernese Oberland exported its livestock to Paris and imported wine and wheat from the Pays de Vaud, until the opening of the Berne-Thoune railway in 1859.

The pass road, planned from the end of the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 and completed in 1878, was in fact built to link the military centres of Bulle and Thun.

It was with the development of tourism and skiing that the pass, from the second half of the 20th century, discovered a new vocation. So much the better, because the landscapes are really superb and it would have been regrettable if only the army had been able to enjoy them!

But don't just admire the scenery from the road: on the pass, stop at the large south-facing car park and follow the path on foot from there. A few dozen metres further on, you will discover a superb pre-Alpine panorama, with the jagged Gastlosen range in the background.

It's enough to make you want to go on long bucolic hikes in these magical Pre-Alps, which combine green pastures and majestic peaks!

This guide features more places in the same region, check them out!
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