Ferrette is a village located in the south of Alsace, in the Sundgau. We are here in the Alsatian Jura, just at the border with the Swiss Jura. Ferrette was in the spotlight when it participated in the 2015 edition of the show “Le village préféré des Français,” where it finished in 6th place.
Brief history of Ferrette
The castle of Ferrette is mentioned for the first time in 1105. It belongs then to the counts of Montbéliard. It stood alone and the nearest village is now Vieux-Ferrette.
20 years later, the county of Ferrette is founded, which will become one of the most powerful lordships of Upper Alsace in the Middle Ages. From owners to counts and governors, the castle was renovated and expanded in the 16th century. It is at this time that the current village of Ferrette is born and that ramparts are built.
In the 17th century, during the Thirty Years’ War, it was first attacked by Swedish troops, who were quickly driven out, and then taken by French troops who burned and destroyed it. The lordship of Ferrette was offered to Mazarin by Louis XIV and gradually fell into ruin.
In 1777, it was given by marriage to Honoré IV Prince of Monaco. The Prince of Monaco still holds the title of Count of Ferrette, but the castle was sold to a private individual in 2011. Yes, it is an unusual detail: Albert II of Monaco is also Count of Ferrette! Astonishing, isn’t it?
Visit Ferrette and its castle
The village is nestled at the foot of the castle of Ferrette, located in the foothills of the Jura mountains. The castle is in ruins, but it is worth visiting. You have to park in town (follow the signs for the castle, then park in the parking lot in front of the public finance center) and then walk to the castle (about 5/10 minutes uphill). The view from up there, especially from the dungeon, is fabulous! It is also pleasant to stroll through the ruins.
We can distinguish in fact two castles: the upper castle, with its dwelling keep, of which only the surrounding walls, the lord’s residence and the well remain; and the lower castle, of 15th century military tradition, of which one can still distinguish a part of the curtain walls with three cylindrical towers of the castral chapel.
After the castle, the visit continues with the street of the castle, which has several houses with interesting facades. The tourist office publishes a small, free and very well done guide that is easy to follow.
Apart from this street, the village has nothing special. Don’t forget to take a look at the Saint-Bernard-de-Menthon Catholic Church and the Town Hall. Special mention also for a point of view that I love on Ferrette: the Heidenfluh.
Discover the surroundings of Ferrette
The Ferrette region is very suitable for beautiful walks such as the Raemelsberg hike or the 3 castles tour, if you want to continue your visit to this region! The Grotte des Nains is also a place to go for a walk in Ferrette. I can also advise you to go mountain biking in the Sundgau (there are many marked trails, it is the largest mountain bike area in Alsace!).
- The splendid view from the castle of Ferrette
- The houses of the castle street
- Quiet: it’s not very touristy
I liked less
- There is only one street in the village that is really worth a visit (and the castle, of course!)
My photos of the village and the castle of Ferrette
Access to the castle is free. You can also download free MP3s with explanations about Ferrette.
The ruins of the castle are freely accessible.
Ferrette is located in:
- 55 km from Mulhouse (about 50 minutes)
- 83 km from Colmar (about 1h10 minutes)
- 157 km from Strasbourg (about 1h50)
By public transport
You can look on Fluo to find a route.