From Salins-les-Bains to Arc-et-Senans

In the 18th century, the Salins saltworks began to show their limits. Production had to be increased to meet the growing demand for salt, especially for the Swiss market, the main client. The saltworks could not, however, satisfy this demand, for reasons both economic and practical:

In 1773 these reasons led the saltworks administration to plan for the construction of a new factory in a more strategic location. The chosen site, situated between the communities of Arc and Senans, had the great advantage of being located next to the Forest of Chaux with its 22,000 hectares. The new site was also on a vast plain, thus allowing the construction of modern buildings of the desired size. Finally, the nearby roadways and waterways comprised a considerable advantage for exporting the salt. Lacking the salt water springs, however, the new saltworks had to be supplied with brine from Salins-les-Bains via a pipeline 21.25 kilometres long.