Annecy, FranceJuly 20 in France ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C
Nestling between the mountain behind and the shore of the lake, Annecy is one of the most picturesque cities in France.
Annecy is the former capital of the Duchy of Geneva (Duché du Genevois), a division of the Duchy of Savoy, which became part of France in 1860. Before then, Savoy had been ruled at different periods by the counts of Geneva, the kings of Sardinia and France...
Savoy is thus a very distinctive area of modern France, and Annecy a distinctive city - with a heritage that is Alpine more than French. It's historic centre has more in common with Geneva than with Lyon.
As a tourist destination, Annecy is particularly visited for its location on the shore of Lake Annecy at the foot of the Alps, and for its very picturesque old city. Until the Middle Ages, the city was located on the top of a small rise to the east of the lakeside old city; but in 1107, a new city began to develop at the foot of the castle, on either side of the river Thiou, the outlet of the lake. This is the historic "old city" of today's Annecy.
Running through the middle of the old city, the Thiou is flanked by narrow quays or by buildings rising directly on the riverbank. The old city is also crossed by the Canal du Vassé, and it is the presence of these two waterways, and of other man-made canals, that has earned Annecy its nickname of the "Venice of the Alps".
Originally just a convenient water-course and in the case of the Canal du Vassé, a protective moat for the old city, Annecy's waterways later became a useful source of hydraulic power for industrial development, notably silk and small-scale textile mills. Today, they are the hallmark of the very picturesque old city.Read more