The history of Treffort is mentioned in the books as early as 974 (Trefortium) with the construction of the first fortified house, but there is no doubt that the site was inhabited much earlier, particularly in the Gallo-Roman period. Clinging to the first ranges of the Jura, Treffort is a perched village that has kept its medieval layout.
The town belonged to the counts of Burgundy, the lord of Coligny, to whom we owe the construction of the castle, and to the lord of the Tour du Pin, who granted a charter of franchise to the inhabitants but who had to cede Treffort to the count of Savoy in 1289. The latter endowed the town with ramparts, pierced by at least six gates and defended by more than thirty towers, the remains of which can still be seen. In 1601, Treffort was attached to the kingdom of France by the Treaty of Lyon.
The vine also shaped the town for over a thousand years, until the arrival of Phylloxera and the First World War. Today, Comté wine replaces the "p'tit vin" of the Cavets (nickname of the inhabitants of Revermont).
Treffort was a border town with Franche-Comté, which is just behind the mountain. Several times under siege, the city found serenity with the attachment of the County to France in 1678.
The remains of the castle (now privately owned) can still be seen from this defensive period, and you can stroll along the covered walkway that runs along the old ramparts on the valley side. Built by the Savoyards, they were pierced by at least six gates and equipped with more than thirty towers, and their height was equal to that of the church.
The fortified house of the High Middle Ages was transformed in the 13th century under the impetus of the Sires of Coligny. It became a defensive castle, reinforced with eight towers, one of which, to the south, served as an entrance. It occupied a quadrilateral measuring 60 m x 43 m, protected to the south by a ditch and a drawbridge, and to the north by a trench dug into the rock, which is now used as a road. It was ravaged in the 16th century and transformed into a stone quarry (numerous reuses can be seen throughout the village). It was bought and partly rebuilt by Tony Ferret (1851-1923), departmental architect of the Ain.
Rue Pelot: toponym from the Franco-Provencal ""pêl"" (hair) in connection with the skin-working industry or ""pelo"" (gruel) and in connection with the presence of a grain threshing area. The tanners found the water of the Nacaretan, a stream that was essential for their work because it was away from the town, to avoid the unpleasant smell of the hides. The courtyards of the houses (on the right-hand side of the street) at the foot of the old ramparts were once used as threshing floors.
Fountain of the three spouts: an extraordinary progress, it allowed the inhabitants to stop fetching water from outside the village. Legend has it that in good harvest years, the wine flowed freely from it.
Fountain of Carrouge (1850): on the site of an old house (remains of a chimney, wall niches...). Carrouge, from the Latin ""quadrivium"", means crossroads of four roads.
Rue Ferrachat: from the Latin ""ferrarius"" (blacksmith) or ""ferratus"" (covered with iron). Under the street, there is a Roman cistern. To be seen: sink spouts protruding from the facades. Bridge house: this façade has mullioned windows, a basket-handle door lintel and, above all, a staircase called "bridge". It allowed access to the house, which was elevated above the street because of the wine cellar, which was half-buried in the rock. The other bridges were demolished in the 19th century to facilitate traffic. The hollow pillar (re-used) was filled with water and was used by the wheelwright to cool down the metal strapping of the cart wheels to tighten them.
Rue du Fiscal: this led directly to the old châtellenie, where taxes were collected.
Les halles: Dating from the 14th century, they were initially made up of wooden pillars and cob walls and hosted the market every Thursday morning. The afternoon was reserved for public hearings held by the squire. Destroyed by fire, they were rebuilt in the 14th century.
The church of Notre Dame de l'Assomption (14th century) is located at the top of the village, near the castle. Its bell tower was built with the help of the monks of Nantua, while the nave was left to the villagers and hastily covered. This explains the gap between the nave and the bell tower. The façade was richly decorated during the 15th and 16th centuries. The Virgin and Child is sheltered by a gothic canopy. On either side of the entrance portal, three coats of arms celebrate the return of Bresse and Revermont to the House of Savoy, through the marriage of Duke Emmanuel-Philibert of Savoy with the daughter of François I, Marguerite de France. The cross over the gable is pierced by an oculus and its centre has branches in the form of a fleur-de-lys.
Inside, the Louis XIV style stalls are remarkable. They come from the Carthusian monastery of Sélignac located a few kilometres away; its sculpted medallions illustrate the life of Saint-Bruno, founder of the Carthusian order, from the taking of the habit to his death.