The département of Jura takes its name of course from the chain of mountains lying predominantly in France, but overlapping Switzerland and Germany. The Jura displays some great examples of karstic landscape — rough limestone that drains underground, causing multiple caverns with stalactites and stalagmites. One of the typical features of the Jurassian chain is the reculée, a gaping cleft in a cliff ending with a rocky amphitheatre, created by caverns caving in. A famous and spectacular underground river open to visitors is the grotte des Planches, near Arbois.
Salins-les-Bains, 12 kilometres away, is also worth visiting for its saltworks museum. The museum explains not only the the town's saltworks, which closed in 1962, but also the historical and cultural importance of salt through the ages.
The capital, Lons-le-Saunier, was also a salt-producing town, as its name may suggest. The salt water was observed to help in the treatment of rheumatism. Lons-le-Saunier was also the birthplace of Rouget de Lisle, the composer of the Marseillaise.
Forestry, dairy farming and tourism are important sectors of the economy, with more specialised trades including watchmaking, the manufacture of spectacles and wood working. Morbier, a mountain cheese from the Jura, is still made by hand, with a black streak of soot through the middle. Another unusual product comes from picturesque Château-Chalon: the heady vin jaune (yellow wine) which, after six years in oak casks, develops a characteristic nutty taste and aroma. Vin de paille, increasingly rare, is another speciality produced on beds of straw to a sherry-like strength, then aged for three years in casks. And straw-yellow marc du Jura is considered one of the best brandies in France.