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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 45°54′58″N 6°07′59″E / 45.916°N 6.133°E / 45.916; 6.133

Ville d'Annecy
Flag of Annecy
Coat of arms of Annecy
City flag Coat of arms
Palais de l'Isle jail
Annecy is located in France
Time zone CET (GMT +1)
Country France
Region Rhône-Alpes
Department Haute-Savoie
Arrondissement Annecy
Intercommunality Annecy
Mayor Jean-Luc Rigaut
(since 2007)
Elevation 418–926 m (1,370–3,040 ft)
(avg. 448 m/1,470 ft)
Land area1 13.75 km2 (5.31 sq mi)
Population2 52,890  (2006)
 - Density 3,847 /km2 (9,960 /sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 74010/ 74000
Dialling code 0450
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population sans doubles comptes: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Pont des Amours ("Bridge of Love").
Lake Annecy.
Logo of the City of Annecy

Annecy (Èneci / Ènneci in Arpitan language) is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France.

It lies on northern tip of Lake Annecy (Lac d'Annecy), 35 kilometres south of Geneva.



Annecy is the capital of the department of "Haute Savoie" no. 74.

The metropolitan area of Annecy includes 13 municipalities.

Annecy is the capital of three cantons:


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 Savoy's possessions in 1401. In 1444, it was set up by the Princes of Savoy 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[1]

During the French Revolution, the Savoy region was conquered by France and Annecy became attached to the département of Mont Blanc, of which capital was Chambéry. After the Bourbon Restoration in 1815, it was returned to the Kingdom of Sardinia (heir of the Duchy of Savoy). When Savoy was sold to France in 1860, it became the capital of the new département of Haute-Savoie.

Francis of Sales was born at the castle of Sales, close by, in 1567. He was bishop of Annecy from 1602 to 1622.

Annecy was the site of the second round of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) talks in 1949.


The Fier forms part of the commune's north-western border. The mountains around the town of Annecy are; Le Mont Verier, Le Semnoz, La Tournette and the Parmelan.


Annecy has hosted the Annecy International Animated Film Festival since 1960.


On July 23, 2009 Annecy played host to Stage 18 of the Tour de France, as the start/finish point for an individual time trial around Lake Annecy.

On October 16, 2009, the International Olympic Committee has listed Annecy as one of the three Applicant Cities for 2018 Winter Olympic Games, with Munich, in Germany, and Pyeongchang, in South Korea. If chosen, Annecy will be the fourth french city to host the Winter Olympic Games, after Chamonix, Grenoble and Albertville.

Main sights

Sights in Annecy include:

  • The Palais de l'Isle, also called the "old prison", was built from the twelfth century. Taking up most of the island in a canal, it is the symbol of the town and is among the most photographed monuments in all of France.
  • The Château d'Annecy (Annecy Castle) was the home of the Counts of Geneva and the Dukes of Genevois-Nemours, an offshoot of the House of Savoie (12th-16th century). Today the restored castle houses the Art and History Conservatory of Annecy and the Regional Office of the Alpine Lakes. [2],[3]
  • The Cathedral of Saint-Pierre, built in the early 16th century as a Franciscan friary, was the cathedral of François de Sales and is home to a number of artworks and baroque pieces from the nineteenth century. [4],[5]
  • The rue Sainte-Claire and its romantic arches date from the 17th and 18th centuries.
  • The rue royale, with its numerous shops, gardens and the fountain of Saint Jean is the heart of the commercial and political activities of the town.
  • The money workshop of the Genevois now houses the Musée de l'Histoire d'Annecy.
  • The church of Saint-Maurice, originally constructed as a church of the Dominican order, has a flamboyant gothic style of the 15th century, and houses some very memorial interesting paintings from the 15th and 16th centuries. [6],[7]
  • The European Gardens, made just after the annexing of Savoie in 1863, where one can admire the very rich and diverse vegetation.
  • The Pont des Amours (Lovers' Bridge), a beautiful example of the iron architecture typical of the 20th century.
  • The Impérial Palace, inaugurated in 1913, with its public gardens, its beach and its casino.
  • The Basilique de la Visitation, built in the 20th century, home of the tomb of François de Sales and Jeanne de Chantal, offers a magnificent view of the town and the agglomeration.


Research organisations

  • LAPP Laboratoire d'Annecy-le-Vieux de Physique des Particules specialized in Physics
  • Mecatronics department of CETIM [2]
  • Different R&D activities in the Université de Savoie and its Ecole Polytechnique d'Ingenieurs: Polytech'Savoie.


Companies located in and around Annecy include:

International relations


Twin towns — Sister cities

Annecy is twinned with:

Panoramic view of Annecy[3].

See also


This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

  1. ^ Suppressed in 1801, it was restored in 1822.
  2. ^ [1] Cetim in English
  3. ^ The picture has been post-edited. The path on the right and left side is straight and not angled by 45°.

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Annecy old-city : Thiou river Sunday morning market
Annecy old-city : Thiou river Sunday morning market

Annecy [1] in the North of the French Alps, is the Venice of Savoie -- a well deserved title. The medieval town centre built around a 14th Century Chateau is dissected by small canals and streams running out of Lac Annecy, which is clean, fresh and a wonderful azure colour. Annecy is also the prefecture of the département of Haute-Savoie.

Get in

Annecy is a popular day trip from nearby Geneva, Switzerland (bring your passport for the border crossing - although checks are not frequent).

Geneva is the nearest major international airport and is well served from across Europe and beyond. With the new motorway, it is now just over 35mins away. A little further away is Lyon, a full international airport, and Grenoble, which is focussed on low cost and winter flights [2]. Both are about a one-hour drive by car or bus. The airport at Annecy only has flights to Paris.

  • Swim, row or sail on the lake
  • Hike on the mountains around the city
  • Bike around the lake, or up in the mountains if you are in good shape.
  • Hangliding above the lake from the Col de la Forclaz (~20km)
  • Shop the many boutiques lining the narrow stone-paved streets. A large, modern mall can also be found in the newer part of the city.
  • Films a theatre near the large mall showing multiple films for your enjoyment.
  • April: A cozy village festival is held, a great place to bring the family. Rides and vendors are abundent, along with the great french cuisine. The festival lines Lac Annecy and is very peaceful and beautiful.
  • June : One of the biggest animation festivals is held in Annecy (6 days)
  • July : Noctibules festival during the nights (4 days)
  • The first week-end of August is the Lake Festival (Fête du Lac) with attractions around the lake and a great fireworks. This event brings more than 100'000 spectators.
  • October : "Descente des Alpages" or "Return from Alpine Pastures". Occurs once a year on the second Saturday of October. This is a traditional farmers' festival with local music, food and entertainment. See pictures from this festival


For between meals try the Italian ice cream shops, favored by the locals, located on the numerous pedestrian-only by-ways that weave the city and river together.

Another suggestion is the brioche (sweet roll) and other goodies to be found at the boulangeries (bakeries) in town.

  • PV-Holidays Adagio Annecy Centre, (next to train station in business district, short walk from the Old Town and lake), +33 1 58 21 55 84, [3]. An aparthotel offering studio style apartments for up to 4 people. A fitness room, sauna and private parking are also available. ~80 Euros.  edit
  • Peak Retreats (Annecy Accommodation Specialist), 0044 2392 839 310, [4]. A range of self-catering apartments & hotels around Lake Annecy. Bookable from the UK.  edit

Bed & Breakfast, youth hostel exist. Surrounding mountains and lake activities are draining a large number of tourist during the summer and more and more during the winter season. Several winter sport resorts being in 30' drive.


Annecy has a number of local artisan shops as well as many European chain boutiques.

There is a market (marché) each Sunday morning in the pedestrian streets of the medieval city. Le marché is an open air market with the freshest fruits and vegetables.


The town itself gets ridiculously busy in July but September brings less folk- visit then when the air is clearer and the views to the mountains are better.

  • Discover small towns nearby in the Alps such as Thônes, La Clusaz, Le Grand-Bornand, Menthon St. Bernard, Duingt, Faverges
  • Use the place as a base to visit other places of the Alps such as Chamonix (~80k), Geneva (45 km), Chambery (40km), Yvoire (60km), Thonon, Evian, Val d'Isère, Aosta (IT, 100 km)...
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ANNECY, the chief town of the department of Haute Savoie in France. Pop. (1906) 10,76 3. It is situated at a height of 1470 ft., at the northern end of the lake of Annecy, and is 25 m. by rail N.E. of Aix les Bains. The surrounding country presents many scenes of beauty. The town itself is a pleasant residence, and contains a 16th century cathedral church, an 18th century bishop's palace, a 14th-16th century castle (formerly the residence of the counts of the Genevois), and the reconstructed convent of the Visitation, wherein now reposes the body of St Francois de Sales (born at the castle of Sales, close by, in 1567; died at Lyons in 1622), who held the see from 1602 to 1622. There is also a public library, with 20,000 volumes, and various scientific collections, and a public garden, with a statue of the chemist Berthollet (1748-1822), who was born not far off. The bishop's see of Geneva was transferred hither in 1535, after the Reformation, but suppressed in 1801, though revived in 1822. There are factories of linen and cotton goods, and of felt hats, paper mills, and a celebrated bell foundry at Annecy le Vieux. This last-named place existed in Roman times. Annecy itself was in the 10th century the capital of the counts of the Genevois, from whom it passed in 1401 to the counts of Savoy, and became French in 1860 on the annexation of Savoy.

The LAKE OF ANNECY is about 9 m. in length by 2 m. in breadth, its surface being 1465 ft. above the level of the sea. It discharges its waters, by means of the Thioux canal, into the Fier, a tributary of the Rhone. (W. A. B. C.)

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