La Chaux-de-Fonds

Switzerland

La Chaux-de-Fonds is where pioneer of modern architecture, Le Corbusier, was born, as well as where the watch-making industry has thrived for the past hundred years. La Chaux-de-Fonds’ chessboard design was created in the early 19th century following a fire that ravaged through the entire town. The revamped look made it the “most important Swiss example of coherent urban construction from the 19th century,” according to the Réseau Art Nouveau Network. There are two main attractions that highlight the city’s claims to fame: the Musée International de l’Horlogerie, or Clock Museum, which showcases the history of watchmaking with more than 4,500 exhibits (including 2,700 watches and 700 wall clocks), and the Maison Blanche, one of Le Corbusier’s early works that he built in 1912 for his parents. Architecture by La Chaux-de-Fonds School of Art, helmed by Charles L’Eplattenier and students like Le Corbusier, inspired the name for the specific style of Art Nouveau found in La Chaux-de-Fonds, referred to as Pine Tree Style.

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