La Ferte-Bernard, Sarthe: tourism & sightseeing

Photo of La Ferte-Bernard (Pays de la Loire region)

Visit La Ferte-Bernard (Pays de la Loire, France)

The town of La Ferté-Bernard is situated in the north-east of the Sarthe department (Pays-de-la-Loire region) about 40 kilometres north-east of Le Mans.

It falls within the southern part of the popular Le Perche region of France.

Exploring La Ferté-Bernard

One of the most interesting towns in the Pays-de-la-Loire region and with several historic monuments and buildings of interest to see, La Ferté-Bernrd is also one of the most picturesque with its medieval houses and the waterways of the Huisne river and the canals.

The first monument you will see on entering the town is the Porte Saint-Julien. This is one of the historic gateways into the medieval centre that passed the defensive walls, and is a very imposing building with large round towers either side of a monumental stone entrance.

Within the streets of the old town you will find a great deal to enjoy, with numerous medieval houses now carefully restored and often featuring fascinating period details such as medieval wood carvings. Rue Carnot, Rue de l'Huisne and Rue Bourgneuf include some of the best examples of interesting architecture, along with the small courtyards such as the Cour du Sauvage with the 15th century salt store and the Cour de la Chaussumerie.

The Church of Notre-Dame-des-Marais in the heart of La Ferté-Bernard is also very impressive. The current church was built in the 15th and 16th centuries in the style called 'flamboyant gothic' and is one of the best examples of gothic architecture in the Pays-de-la-Loire region.

The outside of the church includes a round 'rose window', gargoyles and other decorative stonework. The inside is largely in the Renaissance style and among other features of interest you can see stained-glass windows that were added at various times over the last five centuries and a 16th century organ.

One very unusual feature of the church is the raised balcony around the outside which is made from stones carved into letters, which together spell the words of a hymn. It's not very easy to follow the words visually but it's a nice idea!

In stark contrast to the decorative church you can also see the little Chapel of Saint-Lyphard, dating from the 12th century and beautiful by its simplicity. Various exhibitions are now held in the chapel.

Not far from the church you can also see the traditional market halls of La Ferté-Bernard with their gothic style windows and steep tiled roof. Built in 1536, you will also see the statue of Saint-Louis, patron saint of market traders, on the facade.

Other attractions

La Ferté-Bernard is a popular tourist destination in the summer, and during July and August you can explore the canals across the town in a small electric boat. Children will also want to spend some time at the lake in La Ferté-Bernard, where paddling and swimming are very popular in summer.

Various other seasonal events are also arranged in the town each summer so be sure to visit the La Ferté-Bernard tourist office at 15, Place de la Lice for up to date information.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Sarthe guide and the Pays de la Loire guide.

See also:

Map of La Ferte-Bernard and places nearby

Visit near La Ferte-Bernard with France This Way reviews

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Sarthe

Address: Ferté-Bernard, Mamers, Pays de la Loire, 72400, France || GPS: latitude 48.1875, longitude 0.655278

Plan your visit to La Ferte-Bernard, Sarthe

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Nogent-le-Rotrou: recommended detour (19 km)
  • Perche: regional natural parc (26 km)
  • Jardin de la petite Rochelle: remarkable garden (28 km)
  • Abbaye de l'Epau (Yvre-l'Eveque): religious monument (34 km)
  • Forêt de Perseigne: site of natural beauty (39 km)

Market days in La Ferte-Bernard, France

Regular market(s) are held in La Ferte-Bernard each Saturday & Monday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at La Ferte-Bernard (Francais)