Het kasteel van Joux, elfde eeuw. Foto: TES.

The castle of Joux

In the ten centuries of its history, the castle of Joux has been constantly rebuilt, extended and changed. The first owners of the castle, the lords of Joux, started in the eleventh century with the construction of this strategically located castle on the road through the Jura.

The castle changed ownership in the fourteenth century and finally became the property of Philip the Good (1396-1467) of the House of Burgundy in 1454, whose eastern border defended it.

After the death of Charles the Bold (1433-1477), Maria (1457-1482), heir to the Duchy of Burgundy, married Archduke Maximilian of Austria (1559-1519). The castle, as well as Franche-Comté, came into the hands of the Habsburgs and then, from 1530, into the hands of Charles V and the Spanish.

The conquest of Franche-Comté by Louis XIV (1638-1715) became final in 1678 with the signing of the Treaty of Nimwegen and the castle and Franche-Comté became part of the French kingdom.

The king sent his military architect and engineer Vauban (1633-1707) to the recently conquered area to strengthen the new borders. The forts in Belfort and Besançon bear witness to this. In 1690, the castle de Joux was also integrated into the Vauban defense line.

The military role of the fort became insignificant in the middle of the 18th century and the castle became a state prison as notorious as the Bastille. This castle survived the French Revolution because of its remote location and it is a museum today. (Source and further information: