Pontarlier Today

Pontarlier is situated at an altitude of 830m in the Haut-Doubs region near the Swiss border, and has a population of around 18 500 (in 1910 it was 9500). Until 1915 it was the centre of French absinthe production, and home to many of the largest distillers, including Junod, Terminus and Pernod Fils.

Central Pontarlier is dominated by its famous arch – Porte St. Pierre – at the top of the Rue de la République. It was built in 1771 to celebrate the rebuilding of the town and to commemorate the French conquest of the Franche-Comté in 1678.

The Théâtre Bernard Blier, where the annual Pontarlier Absinthiades is held.

Views of the old Pernod Fils distillery buildings (now part of a huge Nestlé production facility) from the Chapelle de l’Espérance high above the town.