At an altitude of 800 metres, the town of Pontarlier, owner of the chateau, is the second highest town in France, after Briançon (1,326m). World renowned for the production of absinth, it is also a major industrial, commercial and cultural centre. The town is home to a population of nearly 18,000.
Housed in a beautiful 15thC manor house, the Pontarlier Museum is worth visiting for its high quality collections. Archaeology, crafts, displays dedicated to the history of Absinth, art collections by 19th and 20th century artists of the Franche-Comté – the Museum holds a portrait of Gustave Courbet – “self portrait with black dog”.
While waiting for the chateau to be renovated, exhibitions relating to its chateau’s history are being held here, including a beautiful section dedicated to weapons and military equipment, and the retreat of the Army of the East in 1870 /1871.