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Annecy, the Venice of the French Alps

The Château d'Annecy is a restored castle which dominates the old French town of Annecy in the Haute-Savoie département. It was bought by the town, restored and transformed into a museum, le musée-château d'Annecy.

Annecy sits at the tip of an aquamarine lake of the same name, which might belong on the Côte d’Azur if not for the rising mountains on both sides. You’ll see the small river Thiou meandering between colorful Italianate buildings, which lead to Palais de l'Île, Annecy’s most recognizable facade.

Listed as a Historical Monument in 1902, Annecy Castle became the residence of the Counts of Geneva in the 13th and 14th centuries. Over the following two centuries, successive modifications transformed the castle, giving it the unique appearance we can admire today. The resulting structure is a combination of medieval defensive architecture and renaissance elegance, inspired by castles in Ile de France.

Built on elevated ground, it most likely replaced a primitive keep. Measuring over 30 meters high and with walls up to 3.3 meters thick, the tower was used for defensive and military purposes.

The museum has a collection of paintings, sculpture, photographs and antique furniture. Large windows adorn the facades and allow for natural light to enter the rooms, some of which are decorated with wall paintings and equipped with latrines.

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