The Old Town on the River Thiou
Lake Annecy with Mount Veyrier
Annecy is an alpine town in southeastern France, where the River Thiou meets Lac d’Annecy. It’s known for its Vieille Ville (old town), with cobbled streets, winding canals and pastel-colored houses. Overlooking the city, the medieval Château d’Annecy, once home to the counts of Geneva, contains a museum with regional artifacts such as Alpine furniture and religious art, plus a natural history exhibit.
Annecy is one of the most popular towns in the Alps, and is an attractive setting with woods, mountains and the Lake d’Annecy close to hand. It is home to a number of important places and monuments and has also been classified as a Town of Art and History in France.
The town is found in the Haute-Savoie region of eastern France, on the shores of Lake Annecy, 22 miles south of Geneva. Annecy is situated at the northern end of the lake of Annecy. It occupies a strategic location on routes between Italy, Switzerland and France.
The lake with its mountain setting is gorgeous, it is surrounded by some pretty villages including Talloires, a real gem, and Annecy itself is a wonderful town – very attractive and as it sits on the edge of a lake you can combine the pleasures of the town with lots of water based activities.
The sports industry positions Annecy as European capital of outdoor sports. Its stunning natural setting allows visitors to enjoy a wide choice of sports activities in summer as in winter: aerial sports (paragliding), water sports (swimming, sailing, water skiing, diving…), cycling (greenway) but also mountain activities (hiking, mountain biking, via ferrata, canyoning, paragliding, skiing …) everything is possible!
Palais de l’Ile:
The Palais de l’Ile was a court house and a prison and inside you can see the former prison cells and visit an exhibitition on the architecure and heritage.
The Château d’Annecy (Annecy Castle):
It was the home of the Counts of Geneva. In the 16th century the castle entrance was fortified with a parapet walkway. The oldest part of the castle is the Tour de la Reine which was built in the 13th century. From the 17th century to the 1940s it was a barracks and today it houses a museum with exhibitions of Art and History of the area.
The Cathedral of Saint-Pierre:
It was built in the 16th century was the cathedral of François de Sales, and is home to a number of artworks and baroque pieces from the 19th century. Outside the cathedral, the 16th century Hotel Lambert was home to Francis de Sales (bishop of Geneva from 1601-1622).
The Bishop’s Palace:
It adjoins the cathedral and was built in the 18th century. Walk over the bridge to the garden of the bishop’s palace and along the Quai Madame de Warens to the Rue de la Republique. From the Pont de la Republique you have a lovley view over the Thiou.
The River Thiou is one of the shortest rivers in Europe. It is just 3.5km long most of which is in the canals running through Annecy making it such a beautiful city – the ‘Venice of the Alps’.
The Porte Sainte-Claire:
This gate is one of the gateways into the town and next to it is the Gallo House which has an 18th century facade. From here you can take the Pass. Nemours which climbs steeply to the castle.