According to aristmarketing, Annecy is one of the French cities classified as cities of art and history and offers many attractions. The most important include in particular:
The Saint-Pierre Cathedral
Address: Rue Jean Jacques Rousseau
The Saint-Pierre Cathedral dates back to the 16th century and was the cathedral of Francis de Sales. It houses numerous baroque works of art and a beautiful organ from the 19th century.
The Basilica of the Visitation
Address: 11, avenue de la Visitation
This pilgrimage church dates back to the 20th century. Today it houses the tomb of the city’s most famous son, St. Francis de Sales. From their forecourt you can enjoy a very nice view of the city and the surrounding area.
Note: In France, museums are closed on Tuesdays.
Musée du château d’Annecy
Address: Place du Château
Email: [email protected]
There are archeology, ethnology and art exhibitions.
Musée du Palais de l’Île
Address: 3, Passage de l’Île
There are exhibitions on the history of the city.
The Conservatory of Art and History
Address: 18, avenue de Trésum
Since 1980, the former great seminary of the 17th century has housed the Conservatory. Temporary exhibitions are organized there and you can see the collection of General Chastel with paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries and the Payot collection, dedicated to Mont Blanc.
Opera houses, theaters
The Center culturel Bonlieu
Address: Place de la Liberation
This very modern building houses the National Theater, a library, business premises and shops.
Théâtre de l’Echange
Address: 26, rue Sommeiller
It hosts both plays and music concerts.
Special streets and neighborhoods
The Rue Sainte-Claire
In the Rue Sainte-Claire you will find beautiful romantic arches from the 17th and 18th centuries.
The Rue Royale
There are many shops on the Rue Royale. You can also find their gardens and the “Fontaine du Puits Saint-Jean” fountain there. Rue Royale has always been the beating heart of Annecy’s political and business life.
The Perrière gate
closes the thick castle wall and has been one of the four main access points of the city for centuries.
The Gate of the Holy Sepulcher (Porte du Sépulcre)
This gate takes its name from the former monastery of this order, which stood in the immediate vicinity.
The Sainte Claire
gate This gate opened the city towards Chambéry. There you can still see the remains of the old gate and the former fortress.
Town hall and other public buildings
The Palais de l’Île (“vieilles prisons”)
Address: Quai des Vieilles Prisons
The palace is the symbol of Annecy. It was built in the 12th century. It is also called “vieilles prisons” (old prisons) because it served as a prison until 1865. It is one of the most photographed buildings in France. Today it houses the Center for the Interpretation of Architecture and Cultural Heritage, where the history of the city is presented.
Address: Place du Château
The castle is the former residence of the Dukes of Geneva and the Dukes of Geneva-Nemours, who are a branch of the House of Savoy. It was built from the 12th to the 16th centuries. Today the castle houses the Conservatoire d’Art et d’Histoire d’Annecy (Conservatoire d’Art et d’Histoire d’Annecy) and the regional office of the Association of Alpine Lakes (Office régional des lacs Alpins).
The former town hall
Address: At the Porte Filaterie
This building is particularly impressive because of its 18th century facade, on which you can see the coat of arms of the city of Annecy.
The Lambert House
Address: 15, rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau
This house was occupied by Francis de Sales from 1602 to 1610.
The Currency Hotel (Hôtel de la Monnaie)
Address: 1, rue de la Monnaie
From 1741 to 1763 it housed the bishopric after it had served its purpose as a currency hotel. From the ground floor to the first floor you can see a very beautiful horseshoe staircase.
The Sales Hotel
Address: Rue du Pâquier
This house was built between 1688 and 1690 by the von Sales family. It was used as a residence by the princes of the House of Savoy. From 1851 to 1865 it was the seat of the Bank of Savoy. The four seasons are shown on the facade.
The Palais de justice d’Annecy (court)
Address: 51, rue Sommeiller
An attack was carried out on the modern court of Annecy in 2001 and had to be rebuilt afterwards.
The Imperial Palace
Address: Allée de l’Impérial
The Imperial Palace was inaugurated in 1913, along with its public gardens, casino and, above all, its beach, which is still very well known and visited.
Churches or sacred institutions
Eglise Saint François de Sales
Address: Place Saint François
The church housed the tomb of Francis de Sales before it was moved to the Basilica of the Visitation in the 20th century. Pilgrimages from all over Europe had this church as a destination. During the French revolutionary occupation it was converted into a barracks, used as a factory in 1794 and as an apartment and business premises in 1812. It was not until 1923 that the cult was restored in this church. Today it is the church of the Italian parish. A memorial was erected in front of the church. There you can learn about the life and work of Francis de Sales.
Notre Dame de Liesse Church
Address: Place Notre-Dame
It was built between 1846 and 1851 by the engineer François Justin on a 13th century sanctuary. The 16th century tower has been retained, as well as part of the southern wall where you can see an interesting 15th century window.
The Church of Saint-Maurice
Address: Place Saint Maurice
Built in Gothic style, the former Dominican church dates from the 15th century. It houses very interesting paintings from the 15th and 16th centuries. Above all, the trompe-l’oeil painting, to the left of the choir, should not be missed.
The former episcopal palace
Address: Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau
The building was built at the end of the 18th century and housed the diocese leadership. In 1906, after the state and church separated, the building was assigned to the tax office. Today it houses the national school for music, dance and theater as well as the city police.
The Vannes du Thiou
It is an exceptional system to control and divert the waters of the Thious. This system was conceived by the engineer Sadi Carnot before he became President of the Republic.
The Pont des Amours (Bridge of Love)
Address: between the Champ de Mars and the Jardin de l’Europe
This bridge is a fine example of the iron architecture typical of the early 20th century.
The Morens Bridge
Address: Rue du Pont Morens
At the end of the 13th century it was called the “Stone Bridge” because at that time it was the only bridge that was not made of wood. Due to this peculiarity, it was the main crossing because it was the only one that could carry larger loads.
Parks and beaches
The Jardins de l’Europe (Gardens of Europe)
Address: between Quai Jules Philippe and Quai Napoléon III
This park was created shortly after the annexation in 1863. Many types of plants can be admired there.
The Champ de Mars (The Pâquier)
Address: Avenue d’Albigny
The city’s largest park is on the banks of the lake.
Plage des Marquisats
This beach is located in the immediate vicinity of the city center and has the advantage of being free. But it is very busy and not well suited for those who are looking for peace and quiet.
Plage de l’Impérial
This beach is chargeable in summer. There you will find facilities such as a diving tower, a water slide and a small pool for children.
Parc des Sports
Address: Rue Pierre de Coubertin
Lake Annecy was created around 18,000 years ago. It is very famous for its cleanliness as it is one of the cleanest lakes on earth. With a size of 27.59 square kilometers, it is the second largest lake in France after Lake des Bourgets if you exclude the French part of Lake Geneva. It reaches a depth of around 8.6 meters. There are many beaches with children’s playgrounds near Annecy and at the other end of the lake. Numerous water sports can be practiced there.
The Thiou is the natural flow of the lake. With a length of only 3.5 kilometers, it is the smallest river in France.
The Thiou flows into the Fier about 1.5 kilometers north of Annecy. The Fier flows through beautiful gorges where visitors can choose from many water activities.