La Chaux-de-Fonds is the 13th largest city of Switzerland, with a population of 38 thousand. The city is located in the canton of Neuchâtel, 70 km away from Bern and 10 km away from the French border, in the French-speaking part of the country. Together with its sister city Le Locle, La Chaux-de-Fonds was awarded the UNESCO World Heritage status for the “urban layout of watchmaking cities”. The city’s history is indeed closely linked to the development of watchmaking, which was the only industry in the area for nearly four centuries. Currently the city is home to huge watchmaking manufactures, such as AG Heuer, Certina, Audemars Piguet or Corum. Additionally, La Chaux-de-Fonds is the birthplace of writer Blaise Cendrars, car manufacturer Louis Chevrolet and architect Le Corbusier, whose fame has put the city and its architectural heritage (library, Museum of Fine Arts) in the spotlight. Finally, the city was the cradle of the Art Nouveau “sapin style” (lit. fir tree style), inspired by biota of the Jura mountains, with its typical decorative elements being still visible on many houses. La Chaux-de-Fonds was rebuilt following the great fire in 1794, with long perpendicular streets that give it a somewhat austere look, softened by the warm hospitality of the people. The attractions of La Chaux-de-Fonds include villas designed by Le Corbusier: Villa Turque (1916) and Villa Jeanneret-Perret (1912), the Museum of Fine Arts, the Italian Theatre, the former manège and the International Watchmaking Museum.
This municipality in the canton of Neuchâtel offers high-quality artistic (theatre, dance, music), cultural (libraries, cinemas, festivals) and sporting (swimming pools, ice rink, winter sports) experience. The city has relatively large real estate resources and offers low prices compared to Switzerland’s average. Old buildings house renovated high-quality apartments. The city is bicycle-friendly and its public communication network is efficient and well-developed. Due to its proximity to France, many cross-border workers are employed in La Chaux-de-Fonds. Despite being a mountain town, La Chaux-de-Fonds has a reputation as a good place to live. With plenty of snow in winter, it is a popular destination of skiers and snowboarders.