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Coat of Arms of Haute-Savoie
Location of Haute-Savoie in France
Department number: 74
Region: Rhône-Alpes
Prefecture: Annecy
Subprefectures: Bonneville
Arrondissements: 4
Cantons: 34
Communes: 294
President of the General Council: Christian Monteil
Population Ranked 33rd
 -1999 631,679
Population density: 144/km2
Land area¹: 4388 km2
¹ French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2.

Haute-Savoie (Arpitan : Savouè d’Amont / Hiôta-Savouè) is a French department, named for its location in the Alps mountain range.



Haute-Savoie (English: "Upper Savoy") is one of two departments of the region of Savoy that was annexed by France on 24 March 1860, the other being Savoie. For its history prior to 1860, and details of the annexation and reasons for the current separatist movement in the two departments, see Savoy.


Arve Valley and the town of Cluses.

To the north, Haute-Savoie borders on Switzerland, with Geneva as the closest major town, and Lake Geneva. To the east, Haute-Savoie borders Italy, and to the west the department of Ain. To the south it borders Savoie.

Mont Blanc and Lake Annecy are located in Haute-Savoie, as well as the town of Évian-les-Bains, the most famous town on the French shore of Lake Geneva, and well-known around the world for its mineral water, Evian.

Some of the world's most well-known ski resorts are located in Haute-Savoie. For instance, Chamonix — a city where skiing and mountaineering are at the heart of the economic activity, thanks to the Mont-Blanc, Europe's second highest mountain (4808 meters high).

Lakes in Haute-Savoie:




  • Agricultural area: 151 270 hectares (1999), 150 000 hectares (end 2006) of agricultural land
  • Forest area: 173 000 hectares (1999)
  • Number of farmers: 4 450 (1999), 4 800 farmers and over 1 700 jobs full time employees (end 2006)

Distribution of final agricultural production :

  • Crop Production: 71.5 million € (1999)
  • Animal Production: 165.4 million € (1999)

Cheese production :

See also: Abondance (cattle) - Savoy wine


Crafts occupied in late 2000, 15% of the workforce, or 28 443 employees and 1 922 apprentices and 11 951 companies represented included the Répertoire des Métiers or Trade Index, divided into:

  • Food: 955 companies
  • Construction: 4 924 companies
  • Production: 2 834 companies
  • Services: 3 238 companies

Construction and Public Works

Building construction and public works, included late December 2000, 13 867 employees in 4 838 companies spread

  • Construction: 20%
  • Decoration, Electricity, Plastering, Painting: 70%
  • Public Works: 10%


The trade sector accounted late December 2000, 33 994 employees in 9 351 Companies in:

  • Tourism, culture and recreation: 23.7%
  • Food, restaurant: 22.5%
  • Hygiene and health: 15.2%
  • Service: 14.3%
  • Cars, motorcycles, cycles: 13.1%
  • Household equipment, home appliances: 11.2%

In late 2006, the "departement" had 600 commercial establishments in over 300 m2, for a total area of 705 419 m2, including:

  • 13 hypermarkets (78 105 m2)
  • 92 supermarkets (112 844 m2)
  • 24 maxidiscounts (17 600 m2)
  • 6 department stores and variety stores (14 640 m2)
  • 465 stores (482 230 m2)

From 1998 to 2005, 65 new supermarkets were built for an area of 50 000 m2.

Average expenditure per capita in 2006: 21706€. Since the rise of the euro (2004-2007), Swiss clientele is a little less present in the order of -5/-6%, while it accounts for half of turnover in the sector the Geneve Savoyard district.

The traditional small business, less than 300 m2, represents the end of 2006, 84% of businesses, but only 40% of retail space.


in Haute-Savoie

4 301 companies were established in 2004 in Haute-Savoie, or 5.3% compared to 2003 nearly 80% in the service sector with a higher rank for the service to individuals (hotels, restaurants, recreational, cultural and sports, personal and household services). The general trade accounted for 21.6% of new businesses.

Four industrial sectors were particularly dynamic: real estate (+24%), construction (+15.4%), business services (+12.4%) and the food industry (10%).


List of industrial companies in Haute-Savoie

In 1999, the Haute-Savoie had ((formatnum: 2779)) establishments producing industrial or (13.60%) of all businesses.

  • Food: Entremont, Evian (mineral water), Cereal Partners France, La Gerbe Savoyarde, France, Decoration, Besnier, Fruity.
  • Chemistry-Pharmacy-Medical: Labcatal, Nicholas Roche, Pierre Fabre Galderma, Ivoclar-Vivadent, Corneal, SNCI, Anthogyr.
  • Commerce: Provencia, Botanic
  • Electrical and electronic: Chauvin-Arnoux, DAV, Label, HPF, Cartier, Varilac CEB;
  • Mechanical Equipment: Dassault, Alcatel Vacuum Technology, Bosch-Rexroth, Union Pump-Guinard Pumps (Group Textron)
  • Equipment home - household: Tefal, Scaime Bourgeois, Mobalpa, Somfy.
  • Equipment of the person: S.T. Dupont, Rexam Reboul, Gay, Maped, Pilot.
  • Data: Sopra, Abel Guillemot, Cross Systems.
  • Machine tools and special machines: Stäubli, Prosys, Mach 1, Techmeta (Bodycote), Wirth and Gruffat, Mecasonic, Almo.
  • Mechanics: SNR Bearings, Parker Hannifin, Glacier Vandervell, Invensys, Eurodec, Frank and Pignard, Bouverat, Nicomatic, ZF, Sandvik.
  • Special Metals and Materials: PSB Industries, Pechiney Rhenalu, Fonlem Lachenal.
  • Plastics: Veka, SMPI, Decoplast.
  • Sport and leisure goods: Salomon (skiing), Mavic, Dynastar, Millet, Fusalp, Eider.
  • Other: Velsol France, Mecalac, ABMT (Bodycote).

Screw cutting or Bar Turning

The screw cutting is a high precision parts machining industry, the Haute-Savoie district represents 63% of the French cutting turnover, 20% of industrial companies of the département, with a growth rate 7% in 2000.

Competitiveness Cluster Arve Industries Haute-Savoie Mont-Blanc

This is one of the 67 clusters created in 2005.

This center is one dedicated to mechatronics (mechanics + electronics) and includes 60 000 industrial jobs in over 280 companies, mostly small, 1 200 researchers and 250 patents / year (in 2002 ). These actors are very widely exporting their goods and services.

Among the projects supported by the cluster must note the inertial tolerancing, a new approach in considering quality of a lot of machined parts. Based on the Taguchi function, the inertia of a lot of characteristic is defined by its deviation from its target. The inertial tolerancing is a research and development program supported by the Cluster for its member companies. It is led by a research team of the Symme Laboratory of the University of Savoie and the CTDEC or Centre Technique du Decolletage. The publication of the French standard NFX 04-008 demonstrates the relevance of topics covered by the Cluster.

Other programs involve the clean production of clean parts (4P project), developing new models of customer / supplier relationships to improve the effectiveness of simultaneous engineering tasks and the development of the international visibility of the Cluster and its members.

The companies concerned are industrial mechanics, precision engineering, precision turning and sub-assemblies and mechanical assemblies, often associated with integrating technologies such as plastics, electronics, fluidics.

The markets served by member companies of the cluster include transport (cars, trucks, rail and air), production or distribution of electricity, the fluid (gas or liquid, high pressure vacuum) medical and health as well a broad sector of industries not to mention the various electronic components passive or active.

For more details see the website of Pole [1].


The research sector in Haute-Savoie, has filed 201 patents in 2000 and is represented by:

  • Laboratory for Particle Physics in Annecy-le-Vieux;
  • The new flagship of mechatronics Technology Center Engineering Industries or CETIM;
  • Research laboratories, related to Polytech'Savoie, ESIA and the Savoy University;
  • Technical Center for bar turning machining industry (CTDEC) in Cluses;
  • The Thésame - mechatronics and management: production, sensors (measurements and instrumentation), Manufacturing, Science Service.


The services sector accounted late December 2000, 75 768 employees in 11 129 Companies in:

  • Hotels and restaurants: 26.5%
  • Real estate activities: 24.6%
  • Consulting and assistance: 14.0%
  • Transportation: 6.1%
  • Financial Activities: 6.2%


The tourism sector was late December 2000, 635 000 beds divided into:

  • 1250 Rural lodgings
  • 803 Hotels
  • 453 Guest rooms
  • 191 Campsites
  • 70 Bed and Breakfast
  • 40 high-mountain Shelters (refuge)

In 1999, attendance was 37.9 million increase in overnight stays, 56% in winter and 44% for the rest of the year.

Cross Border Labor

The Cross Border Labor to Switzerland (districts of Geneva, of Vaud and Valais) is a major feature of the département activity: End [ [November 2006]] more than 52 200 workers were employed on border in Switzerland. The phenomenon has accelerated dramatically since the bilateral agreements concluded between Switzerland and the European Union, of which a significant component on the free movement of persons. In 2007, commuting flows has increased over 12%.

Since the June,1st 2007, a resident of Haute-Savoie is entitled to freely work in Switzerland. The department and the municipalities receive compensation commonly called "frontier funds" allocated to municipalities in proportion to the number of border resident there. According to back agreement signed in Geneva 1973, the Canton of Geneva to transfer to the Haute-Savoie an amount corresponding to 3.5% of the total mass of workers' compensation border, which was shown in December 2006 an allocation of € 77.687 M., surrendered to common at 80%.


The Haute-Savoie is a highly exporting district. In 2007 the coverage rate for exports was 172% (compared to 90% in France). 40% of Haute-Savoie employees work directly for export.

Exports are mainly made to: Germany, the United States, Switzerland, Italy and the United Kingdom.

Imports come mainly from Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Switzerland and the United States.

List of exporting companies Haute Savoie (Export Results 2008) headquartered in the département.


Habitation tax:

  • In 2006: 312 823 fiscal households fiscal, 27 747 are exempt.


  • The average income tax per household was 25 621€ in 2007 (France : 21 930€).


  • Assedic (January 2000)
  • Construction 74 (January 2000)
  • ERC / DDAF 1999
  • Chamber of Agriculture
  • Chamber of Trade (December 2000)
  • Customs
  • SIRENE of INSEE (July 2003)
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Thésame

External links

Notes and references

  1. ^ Arve Industries

Miscellaneous topics

See also

Map of Haute-Savoie





External links

Coordinates: 46°00′N 06°20′E / 46°N 6.333°E / 46; 6.333

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

La Haute-Savoie consists of the small nook of France boardering Switzerland across Lake Leman to the North, and Italy to the East. It is a sub-region of the Rhone-Alpes.

  • Annecy is the principal city of the Haute-Savoie, and very attractive to tourists for the surrounding mountains, lake, and medieval sights.
  • Annemasse Located across the border from Geneva on the French side this is primarily a town of French people commuting to work in Switzerland.
  • Chamonix is an alpine resort town, nestled at the foot of Mont Blanc and all the allurements that it holds.
  • Chatel
  • Evian the town for which the world famous bottled water is named.
  • Samoëns a charming example of a traditional French alpine town.

Other destinations

La Vallee Verte, though in no way a town, provides a delightful glimpse of rural life in France. If you are inspired to take a scenic trip, drive through this charming spire-spotted country side before traversing the Northern-bordering hill for a great view of Lake Leman. Boege is a central village in "the Green Valley" whose church holds a rare black Virgin.

Lac Leman, otherwise known as Lake Geneva, is the Northern border of the Haute Savoie. This lengthy body of water provides and opportunity for sailing as well as a picturesque scene for a lake-side picnic.

Lake Annecy, the central lake on the historic medieval town of Annecy France. This former seat of the Dutchy of Savoy is now the regional capital of Haute-Savoie.

Le Cirque Du Fer-a-Cheval [1] A serene horse-shoe shaped national park at the end of the Vallee du Giffre.


The Haute-Savoie became part of France in the 19th Century after a trade off between France and the Piemont noble Familly. This is why a lot of local do not consider themselves French but "Savoyard" or even "Savoisiens" (movement for independance from France, not followed widely) in their own right. The locals can be a bit tough to deal with and most regret the old days as this particular region went from very rural to over-flowing with inhabitants during the last 20 years (population tripled, house prices amongst the highest in France) but overall they are quite nice people.

Many residents of the Haute-Savoie take pride in the culture and lifestyle that can be described as "typiquement Savoyard" (typical Savoyard, a variation of the word Savoie). Not only do many people believe it is one of the most beautiful parts of France, but there is also the cheese and other special dishes to dote on. Taking a chance to talk to the local people about the ways this area is different than the rest of France is sure to be enlightening and would greatly enrich the travel experience.

The Haute-Savoie, particularly the rural areas, can also provide a revealing look at the quiet, small-town life in France. For the tourist who has a tendency to forget the France outside of Paris, this may be especially eye-opening and entertaining.

  • By plane the two largest airports near the Haute-Savoie are located in Lyon [2] and Geneva [3] and are serviced by most major international and some discount European airlines, two smaller airport are located in Grenoble and Chambery and is serviced by a dozen or so European and African cities [4].
  • By train Haute-Savoie is easily accessible with a short ride (about 1 1/2 hours) from Lyon. Of course that is assuming a high speed train (train de grande vitesse, TGV [5]). The stations at Annecy and Annemasse are serviced by the TGV.
  • By Car the drive between Annecy and Lyon is about 2 hours on the express way, which are all tolled. Italy is also a neighbor and can be reached through the tunnel under Mont Blanc. The France-side tunnel entrance is in Chamonix, and with a 15-minute drive puts you back in daylight in Italy but is quite pricy.


If cheese sounds good, the Haute Savoie offers a variety of dishes that are sure to please the pallet.

  • Fondue Savoyarde is incredible. This dish is served family-style with a bubbling pot of cheese melted in white wine at the center of the table and bite-size pieces of bread filling a bowl. The bread pieces are pushed onto fondue forks and dipped into the cheese. Be sure to let it cool before eating, however hard the wait may be.
  • Raclette is another regional specialty. In the traditional style of serving it, a wedge of Raclette cheese is speared and set up so that one side is facing a flame. As the cheese melts, it is scraped off (hence the name "Raclette" which literally means scrapping) and poured over boiled potatoes. To complete the meal a variety of cold meats is often served. This is the way it is likely to be served in restaurants, though an electrical apparatus is more often used for melting the cheese when it is eaten in homes.
  • Tartiflette is an especially "typiquement Savoyard" (typical Savoyard) meal. The locals all consider it a necessity in any correct sampling of the regional foods, and take great joy in introducing foreigners to it. Tartiflette is made with a local cheese called Reblochon. It is a casserole dish made with potatoes mixed with pieces of pork and the Reblochon melted in and over the top. It may sound simple, yet it is delicious!

Note that the Fondue and the Raclette are both prepared and eaten in a way that requires people to wait on each other and share the common food source. This is representative of the French fashion of taking time to truly enjoy all meals and the presence of friends and family. So, don't rush yourself though the experience.

Bon Appetit!


Macumba, fabled to be Europe's biggest night club, it located in the Haute-Savoie, a short drive out of Annemasse.

  • Geneva, though in the neighboring country of Switzerland, is only a border crossing away from the Savoie city of Annemasse.
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

HAUTE-SAVOIE, a frontier department of France, formed in 1860 of the old provinces of the Genevois, the Chablais and the Faucigny, which constituted the northern portion of the duchy of Savoy. It is bounded N. by the canton and Lake of Geneva, E. by the Swiss canton of the Valais, S. by Italy and the department of Savoie, and W. by the department of the Ain. It is mainly made up of the river-basins of the Arve (flowing along the northern foot of the Mont Blanc range, and receiving the Giffre, on the right, and the Borne and Foron, on the left - the Arve joins the Rhone, close to Geneva), of the Dranse (with several branches, all flowing into the Lake of Geneva), of the Usses and of the Fier (both flowing direct into the Rhone, the latter after forming the Lake of Annecy). The upper course of the Arly is also in the department, but the river then leaves it to fall i nto the Isere. The whole of the department is mountainous. But the hills attain no very great height, save at its south-east end, where rises the snowclad chain of Mont Blanc, with many high peaks (culminating in Mont Blanc, 15,782 ft.) and many glaciers. That portion of the department is alone frequented by travellers, whose centre is Chamonix in the upper Arve valley. The lowest point (945 ft.) in the department is at the junction of the Fier with the Rhone. The whole of the department is included in that portion of the duchy of Savoy which was neutralized in 1815. In 1906 the population of the department was 260,617. Its area is 1775 sq. m., and it is divided into four arrondissements (Annecy, the chief town, Bonneville, St Julien and Thonon), 28 cantons and 314 communes. It forms the diocese of Annecy. There are in the department 176 m. of broad-gauge railways, and 70 m. of narrow-gauge lines. There are also a number of mineral springs, only three of which are known to foreigners - the chalybeate waters of Evian and Amphion, close to each other on the south shore of the Lake of Geneva, and the chalybeate and sulphurous waters of St Gervais, at the north-west end of the chain of Mont Blanc. Anthracite and asphalte mines are numerous, as well as stone quarries. Cotton is manufactured at Annecy, while Chases is the centre of the clock-making industry. There is a well-known bell foundry at Annecy le Vieux. Thonon (the old capital of the Chablais) is the most important town on the southern shore of the Lake of Geneva and, after Annecy, the most populous place in the department. (W. A. B. C.)

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