St. Ursanne

Saint-Ursanne, Switzerland

There’s something dark and offbeat about the Jura, Switzerland’s 26th and youngest canton. Located in a distant corner of the deep, wooded Doubs River Valley bordering France, the town of St. Ursanne embodies some of the canton’s surprising remoteness and offers a glimpse of a medieval village untouched by modernity. According to legend, the village, perched on the banks of the Doubs River, was founded by the 7th-century Irish monk Ursicinus, who was banished from Burgundy and became a hermit here. Arriving visitors will first have to cross the four-arched Doubs Bridge before getting to see the town’s medieval edifices, including 14th-century half-timber burgher houses and a 12th-century collegiate church. Climb the 190 steps to access the St. Ursicinus hermitage or a go on short, signposted hike to some castle ruins and the Doubs Nature Park.

Information on this page, including website, location, and opening hours, is subject to have changed since this page was last published. If you would like to report anything that’s inaccurate, let us know at

Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
More From AFAR