- ANNECY AND MONT BLANC -

Annecy Part 1

LINKS to other pages in the Annecy and Mont Blanc website and to the Travelling Days series:

1 : Introduction and Index
2 : Setting Out
3 : Beaune
4 : Annecy
5 : Mont Blanc and Mer de Glace
6 : Aix-les-Bains and Lac du Bourget
7 : Homeward Bound
8 : Paris

HOME PAGE : ANNECY AND MONT BLANC
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ANNECY is a municipality in the Haute-Savoie department and is the capital of the department.

There are three Cantons - the Canton of Annecy-Centre forms the shopping and tourist part of Annecy and has 15,344 inhabitants.

Annecy is located between Geneva and Chambéry. Thus its history was strongly influenced by these two towns between the 10th and the 19th century.

Starting as the capital of the county of Geneva, after the demise of the counts of Geneva, it became integrated into the House of Savoie in 1401.

In 1444, it was set up by the Princes of Savoie as the capital of a region covering the possessions of the Genevois, Faucigny and Beaufortain. With the advance of Calvinism in 1535, it became a center for the Counter-Reformation and the bishop's see of Geneva was transferred here. During the French Revolution, the Savoy region was conquered by France and Annecy became attached to the département of Mont Blanc, of which the capital was Chambéry. After the Bourbon Restoration in 1815, it was returned to the House of Savoy. When Savoy was annexed by France in 1860, it became the capital of the new département of Haute-Savoie.

The picture above shows the chateau rising above the old part of the town and the Canal de Thiou.

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Palais de l'Isle was built in 1132 right in the centre of the Thiou, the famous canal in Annecy. It is definitely the most distinctive monument of the city, and is impossible to miss. The triangular shape reminds the visitor of the prow of a galley anchored in the river. Annecy35a.jpg

It was the primary residence of the Lord of Annecy as early as the 12th century, and later became the Count of Geneva’s administrative headquarters, then alternately a courthouse, the Mint, and finally a jail, from the Middle Ages until 1865 and once again during World War II.

The Palais de l'Ile was classified as a Historical Monument in 1900, and today houses a very popular local history museum. It is one of the most photographed monuments in France.

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The Annecy town well (right) with its 1646 keystone (below).

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The Canal de Vassé taken from the Pont des Amours.

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