Saint-Ursanne is an old village that does not seem real, but being out of a medieval fairy tale. Having only a small main street and less than 800 inhabitants, we decided to spend some hours there in our way to La Chaux-de-Fonds.
It is said that Saint-Ursanne was founded by an Irish monk called Ursicinus in the 7th century. He built a monastery here and lived alone for his whole life. The small town has never been a lively place, but nowadays it is well known by its medieval character.
One of the best spots to enjoy the landscape as well as Saint-Ursanne, is just across the river Doubs. There is a beautiful bridge to take you to the other side. From there you can see the façades of the amusing houses in the photo above, interrupted by random medieval towers. Besides, you can also enjoy the Natural Park of the Doubs, which seems to take care of the small group of houses.
Once inside the small village, here it reigns the silence and breath is calm. The streets are really quiet, and while sometimes it can be disturbing and awkward, here is a beautiful gift.
This is what I thought when we visited the great collegiate church and its cloister. We did not see anybody in our tour. Trust me when I say that it was a delight to walk around those lonely corridors and enjoy the peaceful cloister.
Why Saint-Ursanne must be part of your Route Le Corbusier?
Saint-Ursanne is located in the perfect spot for a stopover in the way. It is right between Ronchamp, where we visited the famous chapel of Nôtre-Dame du Haut by Le Corbusier, and La Chaux-de-Fonds, the architect’s home town. Thereby, after crossing the border between France and Switzerland, we appreciated resting in this picturesque village before continuing our trip.