What is the Jura?

Geological eras are often named after the predominant rocks (for example, shell limestone or red sandstone) or - as in the case of the Jurassic - after a mountain range. This makes geological designations sometimes rather confusing.

The Jurassic is a geological period. It ranged from about 200 to 142 million years in the past and thus covers about 58 million years. The rocks that were formed during this period are also called "Jura" in common parlance and they form, among other things, the mountain range of the same name: The Jura mountain range stretches from France across Switzerland and with its foothills to southern Germany.

It consists of tectonically folded parts, the folded Jura in Switzerland and France, and the unfolded Table Jura, to which the southern German part belongs. It includes the Swabian and Franconian Alb, which are separated by the meteorite crater of the Nördlinger Ries.

Independent of geology, "Jura" is a term for law and the name of a Swiss canton (and a Swiss brand for coffee machines, which naturally calcify quickly in Jura regions).


  • WasistJura
    What is the Jura?
  • Jura bild
    The Jura mountain range (map base OpenTopoMap)