The society Joan of Ferrette (SJF) aims to implement the international, cultural and historical competition “Grenzen fließen” (flowing borders). The medieval figure Joan of Ferrette is a symbol of the special dynamics of our European consciousness. The routes through medieval Europe by Joan had nothing in common with travelling nowadays. There were completely different borders and different conditions of life. Everything was different from whatever we can imagine today. The SJF therefore encourages the reflection on people living along borders or in areas with constantly changing borders in the middle of Europe. Since we do not find any similarities with the historical circumstances, we expect references to a modern and humane Europe without any limitations caused by politics and administration in the visible relics of the past. The members of the society are historians, eminent scientists and persons involved in cross-border cultural cooperation. In 2010 the president of the society will award prizes to the best historical works on the subject “Grenzen fließen”.
The Society is called after Joan of Ferrette, the daughter of Ulrich III of Ferrette, who died in Basel on 11 March 1324. This marks a decisive turning point in the history of the Haute-Alsace.
The heritage which he bequeaths to his two daughters encompasses the Sundgau, the south of Vosges, the gateway to Burgundy and the northern fringe of the Jura. Considering his advantage, Leopold I reacts to the news of the death of Ulrich III quickly. He sends his younger unmarried brother Albert to Joan of Montbéliard, the widow of Ulrich III, so that he can win the hand of Joan, the oldest daughter of Ulrich III. The negotiations are successful and she affixes her seal in Thann to the agreement with Albert. So Albert obtains the only compact political unit in Alsace for the Habsburgs domain. In addition, the children of Albert and Joan of Ferrette are the only ones who continue the Habsburg lineage since none of his brothers have any descendants. Joan died in Scheibbs (Lower Austria) and is buried together with her husband in the “Kartause Gaming” near Scheibbs. Further information: http://ferrette.mvnet.at/