Developed as walks adapted to each educational level, these visits will allow students to learn about daily life at the Chateau and to understand how the architecture has changed over the past thousand years.
And what if I told you a story about the Chateau de Joux?
Joseph, a young soldier and his friends, Pierre the builder, Sam the cook, Paul the soldier and Pipistrelle the bat, together these characters tell the story of the Chateau de Joux.
While reading a large illustrated book and enjoying a sensory walk around the Chateau de Joux, children will become aware of the daily life of the people who lived there.
To complete this activity, follow the workshop “Making a puppet soldier”.
Daily life at the Chateau de Joux in the 18th century
The seige has gone on for too long, supplies are running out, our young soldier Joseph is looking for water… The children must help him find the key to the great well of the Chateau.
While they walk from the dungeon built in the Middle-Ages to the great well built by Vauban, the students will learn how the soldiers lived in the garrison of the Chateau in the 18th century.
To complete this activity, follow the workshop “Making a three-cornered soldier’s hat”.
Budding architects, to your drawing boards!
Imagine the Chateau de Joux is under siege, the canon balls are coming in from every direction! Sebastien, a young architect, explains how the architecture of the Chateau has evolved over the pas one thousand years, constantly adapting to the evolution of warfare.
Equipped with a layout and and a booklet, the students must observe and understand the various fortifications.
To complete this activity, join the “Making a 3D model of the Vauban fortifications”!
In the footsteps of Toussaint Louverture
Toussaint Louverture, a slave turned general, governor of Saint Domingue, and instrumental in achieving the independence of Haïti, was imprisoned at the Chateau de Joux where he died on 7th April 1803. During a visit of the castle, the students will follow the main stages of the life of Toussaint Louverture, share in his fight to free the slaves, and will follow his last days at the Chateau!
The visit takes place in two stages:
- To begin with,the students learn all about the life of Toussaint Louverture thanks to a PowerPoint presentation; From his birth in Saint-Domingue, where he was born a slave, to his deportation to the Chateau de Joux 60 years later.
- Then, the students will visit the Chateau de Joux in the footsteps of Toussaint Louverture.
- From the main entrance gate, to his prison cell, the students will disvoer the conditions under which Toussaint Louverture was held, the role played by the Chateau de Joux as a state prison, and how Toussaint Louverture still represents a symbol of freedom, even today.
To complete this visit, follow the workshop “In the footsteps of Toussaint Louverture” in which the themed visit can be combined with a workshop at the Pontarlier Museum studying the portraits and engravings of Toussaint Louverture.
Fun visits can be followed by workshops which offer students the possibility of learning combined with creativity around a particular subject. These activities take place in the reception rooms of the chateau.
Making an articulated puppet of a soldier
Students will make a puppet called “Joseph”, a soldier in the garrison at the Chateau de Joux.
You can combine this activity with a fun visit called “And what if I told you about the Chateau de Joux?”
Making a soldier's hat
The tricorn was hat much in fashion in the 18th century in the army. All the soldiers were wearing them. The students will make one from black felt.
You can combine this activity with the workshop “Daily life at the Chateau de Joux in the 18th century”.
Calligraphy and illumation
After an introduction to the history of writing, the students will discover the art of calligraphy and illumination. Each student will make a bookmark after learning to write with a feather quill. Their collective efforts will allow them to go back to school with a booklet that they have written together in calligraphy.
Making a 3D model of the chateau's fortifications!
What could be more fun than making a 3D model in order to understand in detail the architecture of an historic monument? That is what this workshop offers students: to make a 3D model of the Vauban fortifications of the 5th line of defence at the Chateau de Joux, which is no longer visible.
Complete this activity with the educational visit: “Budding architects, to your tools!”.
In the footsteps of Toussaint Louverture
Arts activities: students take inspiration from the Haïtian paintings shown in the PowerPoint presentation “A guided tour – in the footsteps of Toussaint Louverture” and make a painting that reminds them of a moment during the visit that impressed them. An episode in the life of Toussaint Louverture or something that made an impression on them.
Upper middle school
Arts activities: The children take inspiration from the Haïtian paintings shown in the PowerPoint presentation “A guided visit – In the footsteps of Toussaint Louverture”.
They make a painting imagining what Toussaint Louverture’s life would have been like if he had not been taken prisoner or if Napoleon had freed him or if he had managed to escape.
For a full undertanding of this theme, this activity can only be completed once the students have already followed the guided visit “A guided visit – In the steps of Toussaint Louverture”.
Upper middle and high school
Discover the history of the Army of the East - 1870
After visiting the Laurent Guenat exhibition and discovering the history of the Army of the East, the students are invited to paint a composition, on canvas, of their own interpretation of the retreat by the Army of the East.
On request, the artist, Laurent Guenat, may be able to attend in person to present his work and help the students with their own paintings.
An educational project on the theme of slavery
Working with an upper middle school class, between September and May, the team at the chateau can work with students on an artistic and cultural project on the theme of slavery and the figure of Toussaint Louverture. This project can take on various forms and be eligible to be presented at the chateau as part of the commemorations of the abolition of slavery on 10th May.
This project can also be considered for the “Flame of equality” competition.
School activities in the Larmont
From early May to early July. By advance booking only
For your school outings, the Grand Pontarlier District Council can arrange various tailor made activitie at the Gounefay site. By the half-day or full day, you can take a nature excursion to the top of the Larmont, just a few kilometres from the Chateau de Joux! In order to make the most of this environment, you will have free access to the covered picnic facilities.
Organised on the Gounefay site, set amongst the high pastures and forests, these excursions are aimed at discovering the Jura mountains, exploring them and preserving them, in order to develop children’s curiosity for their natural surroundings.
Depending on the age of the children, fun activities and treasure hunts can be organised to encourage the active participation of groups. All sessions will be held outdoors. In the case of bad weather, the activities will be held in the picnic-rooms of the complex.
If you want to make the most of the Larmount mountain, we offer a “discovery” day for each age group. On the programme, a nature activity in the morning, picnic indoors, and a guided walk adapted to the level of the children in the afternoon.
Nature activities in detail
The nature walks and activities are available for groups of 20 children or more.
The magic of nature or the wonders of the world close at hand
During a mysterious journey, the children will discover a surprising natural world: strange shaped objects, trees that talk, small animals with magic powers, … and some very strange music!
Different fun situations will enable the children to use their senses and to access their sensitivity.
The secret wood or getting to know the environment around us
There exists, on the Larmont mountain, a small wood where creatures live in harmony with their environment.
To access this spot and get to know it, the children will take part in a series of sensorial challenges, find clues, find their way… and promise to keep a secret!
Because there is only one of these and its discovery is unique, this activity around the “Secret wood” cannot be held for two classes in the same level. It must therefore be completed with a “Nature walk”.
Outdoor actors or getting up close and personal with nature
Who hasn’t tried to imitated the animals that are familiar to us? Our cat, our dog or other pets? On the Jurassic mountains, some little known animals may also provide inspiration.
After being given their different roles, the children will make a short “Nature film” in which each character will play their role in a natural setting of their choice.
The staff at the chateau offer educational “short walks” on the Larmoun from late May to early July. They are specific to each age group.
The Gentian and the Fox
Short walk with a storyteller in the lower woods of the Larmont to discover the secrets of the Gentian. How does this small blue plant turn into a big yellow plant? By understanding the mystery, the children will also get to know the animal that lives amongst them: the Fox!
A walk with the Elves
On the Larmont mountain, live some little creatres called “Youtons”… To find out where and how they live, the children will set out to find the path that leads to their village by finding certain clues and by doing so will earn the honour of dancing in memory of the famous Great Bull!
By following the ridge path, we will set out to explore life in the mountains. We will admire the local plants and discover a particular form of farming: the Alpage. The students will be able to enquire about how their behaviour as consumers can respect the environment.
Improving the facilities for school children and youth at the chateau
The 2020 – 2030 programme for promoting culture and tourism at the Chateau de Joux, includes a section for youth and school groups, in order to develop educational activities and increase the capacity for hosting these groups.
The programme includes developing rooms in the Joffre barracks so that students, young people and teachers can be hosted under improved conditions. These new facilities will allow picnics to be eaten on-site, toilet facilities and more spacious workshop facilities available all year round.
The development of 3 museums (Fortress and Freedom, Military Art & History, Toussaint Louverture and the memorial to the abolition of slavery) will provide teachers with a space of more than 1,000 sqm to explore! Teachers’ aids, visits and conferences will be organised for students of all ages and educational backgrounds.
Getting the right balance
Visits, activities, workshops, nature walks… how to put together the perfect day?
The choice of activities will be made according to availability at the time of booking.