|Inside the old Maison Pernod Fils Factory
|After the banning of absinthe and the demise of Pernod Fils, the huge Pernod factory, once the pride of industrial
France, was used as a field hospital during the First World War. In 1919 the premises were bought by a chocolate
manufacturer whose business was subsequently taken over by the Swiss food giant Nestle. The factory has been used
continuously by Nestle ever since, originally for the manufacture of chocolates, but now primarily for the production
of Strawberry and Banana Nesquick for export to the UK market. Around 350 Nestle employees, mainly locals from
Pontarlier, work there - some are the great-great-grandchildren of ancestors who worked for Pernod Fils.
Much of the older part of the factory is shuttered and unused, as the Nestle production lines are concentrated in new
purpose-built facilities behind the original buildings. The entire factory is generally off-limits to visitors, and these are
the first published photos in the modern era showing the interior of the old Pernod alambic halls. The actual alambics
were removed many decades ago - some were purchased by the Combier distillery in Saumur where they are now, a
century later, again being used to make absinthe for Jade Liqueurs!
The old Pernod alambic halls and storage facilities,
now largely unused and derelict in places.
Click on the images to see enlarged versions.
Views looking out from the famous towers at
the corners of the original factory, and, at right,
the interior of the towers.
Click on the images to see larger versions.
The Pernod family villa in the factory
grounds, now used as offices by Nestle.
|A view across the back of the premises, with the distinctive
Pontarlier landmark of the Chapelle de l'Esperance visible
on the hilltop behind the factory.
|The bridge over the Doubs River
behind the factory.