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About Neuchatel



is the capital of the Swiss canton of Neuchâtel onLake Neuchâtel..The city has as of December 2013 approximately 33,600 inhabitants (80,000 in the metropolitan area)..The city is sometimes referred to historically by the German name, which has the same meaning, since it originally belonged to the Holy Roman Empireand later Prussia, which ruled the area until 1848..The official language of Neuchâtel is French..Neuchâtel is a pilot of the Council of Europe and the European Commission Intercultural cities programme.









The oldest traces of humans in the municipal area are the remains of a Magdalenian hunting camp, which was dated to 13,000 BC. It was discovered in 1990 during construction of the A5 motorway at Monruz (La Coudre). The site was about 5 m (16 ft) below the main road. Around the fire pits carved flints and bones were found. In addition to the flint and bone artifacts three tiny earrings from lignite were found. The earrings may have served as symbols of fertility and represent the oldest known art in Switzerland. This first camp was used by Cro-Magnons to hunt horse and reindeer in the area. Azilian hunters had a camp at the same site at about 11,000 BC. Since the climate had changed, their prey was now deer and wild boar.

During the 19th century, traces of some stilt houses were found in Le Cret near the red church. However, their location was not well documented and the site was lost. In 1999, during construction of the lower station of the funicular railway, which connects the railway station and university, the settlement was rediscovered. It was later determined to be a Cortaillod culture (middle Neolithic) village. According to dendrochronological studies, some of the piles were from 3571 BC.





University of Neuchâtel


Neuchâtel is home to the French-speaking University of Neuchâtel . The university has five faculties (schools) and more than a dozen institutes, including arts and human sciences, natural sciences, law, economics and theology. For the 2005–2006 academic year, 3,595 students (1,987 women and 1,608 men) were enrolled. The Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences is the largest school of those that comprise the university of Neuchâtel with 1,500 students. Some courses at the University are taught in English.

Neuchâtel is home to 8 libraries. These libraries include: the Bibliothèque de la Faculté des Lettres, the Bibliothèque de l'Institut d'ethnologie et du Musée d'ethnographie, the Bibliothèque de la Faculté des Sciences, the Bibliothèque de droit, the Bibliothèque des sciences économiques, the Bibliothèque de la Faculté de théologie, the Service de coordination des bibliothèques and the Haute école Arc - Santé. There was a combined total (as of 2008) of 736,773 books or other media in the libraries, and in the same year a total of 58,427 items were loaned out.





Heritage sites of national significance


There are 32 sites in Neuchâtel that are listed as Swiss heritage site of national significance. The entire old city of Neuchâtel is part of the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites.



  • Site of the Paleolithic settlement at Monruz


  • Abbaye de fontaine André


  • Collegiate Church of Neuchâtel


  • Notre-Dame Church


  • Maison des Halles


  • Maison at Rue du Pommier 7


  • Maison at Rue du Pommier 8


  • Maison at Rue du Pommier 9


  • Wrought iron work above the entrance into Villa James de Pury


  • Bibliothèque des Pasteurs de Neuchâtel

  • Galeries de l'histoire à Neuchâtel

  • Automatons at the Musée d‘art et d‘histoire de Neuchâtel

  • Musée d‘ethnographie

  • Musée d'histoire naturelle


  • Castle of Neuchâtel

  • Fountain de la Justice

  • Fountain de la place de l‘Hôtel de Ville

  • Fountain de la rue des Moulins

  • Fountain de la rue du Château

  • Fountain du Banneret

  • Fountain du Griffon

  • Fountain du Lion

  • Fountain du Neubourg

  • City Fortifications

  • Grande Rochette

  • Town Hall

  • Hôtel du Peyrou

  • Cantonal Observatory

  • Gate to Petite Rochette

  • Main Post Building

  • Prison Tower






National Exposition of 2002


During the summer of 2002, Neuchâtel was one of five sites which held Expo.02, the sixth Swiss national exhibition, which was subject to financial controversy. The festival of the Fête des Vendanges, representing the wine harvest, is held traditionally in late September.





  • Lake Neuchâtel, seen from the castle

  • The statue of the justice fountain

  • The collegiale by night

  • The collegiale by night, north view

  • Littorail train at Neuchâtel

  • Aerial view of Neuchâtel and Lake Neuchâtel, looking to the north-east.

  • Ballot box used to elect members of the Grand Conseil of the city of Neuchâtel. Made during the 18th century, used until 1848. Walnut and brass.





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