fr | en | de
Increase text size Increase text size

Les Charbonnieres

It was in 1430 that the first building was erected in the village to come of Les Charbonnières: a mill, built on the brook called La Sagne.

In the middle of the fifteenth century, the little village set up by the Rochat families from L’Abbaye, eventually took the name of Les Charbonnières. This name originates from the intensive forest work and the adherent charcoal production. The many steelworks in Vallée de Joux and Vallorbe used charcoal. 

From the very beginning, the villagers combined farming and work in industry. Until the middle of the sixteenth century, one could find many forges and iron mines, as well as a proper industrial complex in Bonport, between the two lakes. 

The village of Les Charbonnières is the source of the Vacherin cheese, of which we can follow the trail back to the early 1800s. This new cheese, surrounded with bark and matured in a spruce box, soon conquered the markets in Lausanne and Geneva, among others. The Vacherin cheese participated in many national and international exhibitions and obtained several medals. Its production intensified in the twentieth century and arrived at more than 500 tons per year. 

After a period where new methods had to be found in order to satisfy modern and very strict alimentary norms, the Vacherin production has regained its amplitude, to the delight of the finest gourmets. Vacherin is a typical cheese from Vallée de Joux that is only produced in winter and obtainable from September until April.
In conclusion, a Gentian distillery completes the gastronomic supply of Les Charbonnières. 

In the industrial field, several watchmaking and precious stone workshops were founded in the beginning of the twentieth century. The factory Zénith was built in 1917. Soon after purchased by Mr. Hector-Albert Rochat, it became Valtronic in 1982. Specialized in microelectronics, Valtronic is today a worldwide company.


The name Les Charbonnières originates from the intensive forest work and the adherent charcoal production.

Geographic situation

Zoom map


Vallée de Joux Tourisme
Centre Sportif
1347 Le Sentier
Phone +41 (0)21 845 17 77
Fax +41 (0)21 854 50 08


Practical information

360° panorama

Les Charbonnières origin of the Vacherin Mont d'Or

Click here

Facebook RSS



The Vallée de Joux by e-Bike ...

» More…

Watchmaking Farms

Discover the most beautiful watchmaking farms in Vallée de Joux...

» More…



Le Brassus

Dans le cadre du XXXIIe Festival de Musique du Haut-Jura

» More…

Les Charbonnières

Triathlon international Vallée de Joux

» More…

Le Sentier

Tour du Lac de Joux

» More…

Online Booking



Vallée de Joux Tourisme, Centre Sportif - Rue de l'Orbe 8, 1347 Le Sentier, Suisse - Tél. +41 021 845 17 77 - Fax +41 021 845 50 08 - info@valleedejoux.ch 
Open Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm. Saturday and Sunday 9am to 12pm and 1pm to 6pm.
Copyright Vallée de Joux Tourisme 2009, Réalisation MySwitzerland & DidWeDo*