chateau d annecy

Annecy Castle

During your holiday in the Alps, and more specifically in Annecy in Haute Savoie, don't miss a must-see for lovers of French history: the Château d'Annecy. Once a fortified castle and residence for the House of Savoy and the Counts of Geneva, it now houses museums and dominates the town of Annecy and its famous lake from its promontory.

The history of Annecy Castle

A visit to Annecy Castle is a plunge into French history. Originally a fortified castle in the 12th century, the site has undergone successive transformations over the centuries. It was the residence or even hotel of the Dukes of Savoy and the Counts of Geneva, and was used as barracks during the French Revolution and the World Wars.

However, this historic site was abandoned until the 20th century, when the town of Annecy bought it in 1953. On the heights of Lake Annecy, visitors can now discover the old architecture that tells the story of the successive eras lived through by this witness to the castles of past centuries. From the Middle Ages to the present day, thanks to its museum and its modern, interactive displays, Annecy Castle traces the history of the town and the region century after century.

The most important features of Annecy castle

One of the must-see features of your visit to Annecy Castle is the Tour la Reine. Since the 13th century, this has been the castle's sentinel, the tower that keeps watch over the lake. It stands some thirty metres high. It is the oldest building in the area, and can be seen particularly well from the Place du Château. A visit to Annecy Castle inevitably involves passing through the Vieux Logis. This is the entrance to the museum, but above all it was the restaurant or kitchen of the castle's inhabitants. On the ground floor of the Tour Saint Pierre, the bread oven has been preserved.

On the upper floor, you will discover the ceremonial rooms, where receptions were held at the time, and also where the Counts of Geneva stayed, in the Chambre rouge. The dwelling underwent several fires and was restored after the 15th century. The Logis Nemours is also one of the palace's most popular landmarks. It was built in the 16th century at the same time as the Logis Neuf. It was Charlotte d'Orléans who initiated the construction of this Renaissance-inspired dwelling, whose superb façade you can admire from the courtyard. The interior is divided into three levels and comprises a succession of rooms, all of which are admirable.

Visiting Annecy Castle

Visiting Annecy Castle is a complete experience. It houses a museum, which held its first exhibition three years after the château was bought by the town of Annecy in 1953. Art is presented in the form of a variety of temporary exhibitions, with a particular focus on the region's heritage.

Known for its lake, the Annecy region has many other secrets, which you can discover in this comprehensive museum. As well as temporary exhibitions, there is also a permanent display of museum collections from all over Annecy. The Château d'Annecy museum also gives pride of place to contemporary art, and even devotes part of its exhibition rooms to animated films.

What you need to know before visiting Annecy Castle

Allow around an hour to visit Annecy Castle. In summer, the château is open from 10.30am to 6pm. In winter, from 10am to 12pm and from 2pm to 5pm. It closes on Tuesdays. The full price is €5.60. While Lake Annecy, the Palais de l'Ile and the old town are all very popular, don't miss the chance to explore the château, which is a little out of the centre. Located at 1 place du château, it's very easy to get to from the 4-star Annecy campsites by driving north along the lake in less than 30 minutes. Parking, restaurant and all amenities are close to the château.