The Municipality of Le Lieu
The Municipality of Le Lieu was founded in 1396. In the beginning, it was first of all a meeting place for monks, as the village of Le Lieu was a staging point between Saint-Claude (France) and Romainmôtier. The municipality is composed of three villages : Le Lieu, Les Charbonnières and Le Séchey.
The Municipality of Le Lieu is named after the monk Dom Poncet, who was the first one to settle down in Vallée de Joux and who founded a night halt for other monks during their long round tour. Consequently, the monks named the Municipality of Le Lieu (= the Place) “Le Lieu de Dom” (=”Dom’s Place”).
For two centuries, the only existing villages were Le Lieu and L’Abbaye (=the Abbey), where monks also resided. These two unities fought over false documents concerning land ownership, which resulted in Le Lieu extending its domains until 1571 all over Vallée de Joux, except for the domain of L’Abbaye.
When the Bernese population invaded Vallée de Joux in 1536, the last abbot was converted into Protestantism without difficulty and those parishioners who did not want to convert, disappeared into the French region of Comté.
In 1646, Le Brassus decided to separate from Le Lieu, which then occupied everything that was not part of L’Abbaye. Through this event, we got our three municipalities of today.
In 1691, a terrible fire struck Le Lieu. The church and all ancient files of the three communities in the Vallée de Joux vanished.
After this, the religious aspect disappeared and gave place to agriculture. Vast pastureland allowed people to both breed cattle and cultivate the soil.
The Municipality of Le Lieu is today rather gastronomic, as it is the source of our renowned cheese, Vacherin Mont d’Or. Besides this, the Municipality boasts some of the most famous cheesemakers in Vallée de Joux. In summer, many mountain chalets give tourists the opportunity to learn the craft of cheesemaking and then taste the delicious fresh dairy products.