Heritage and culture

Immerse yourself in the local culture and discover the region's ancient heritage.


Heritage that oozes with history and the mountains

Ancient towns and castles

If you love old stone, you'll have plenty of walks to enjoy, with or without a guide!

Annecy, officially a Town of Art & History, is a pleasant place to visit whatever the season or topic of interest. Follow our tour guides through the cobbled streets of the old town or in the castle museum, to unveil all the secrets of this modern town dating back to the Middle Ages. There are other  castles dotted across the region too, such as Menthon-Saint-Bernard, Montrottier, Thorens-Glières, and Duingt where the ancient village even has some medieval architectural features. South of the lake, discover the town of Faverges, which dates from the Roman era, and climb the 145 steps of the Donjon des Seigneurs (Lords’ keep) for a 360° panoramic view over the castle and town. The Viuz-Faverges archaeology museum is the custodian of many traces of this long and rich past.

© Sémaphore / P. Leroy
© Gilles Piel

A destination steeped in history

Live free or die

At the end of the Second World War, Haute-Savoie was the first region to be completely liberated, thanks to the local Resistance. On the Glières plateau where the Resistance formed, a history trail retraces the lives and the struggle of those young people who stood up to the German troops. The Glières memorial on the plateau is a symbol of resistance and hope. At the bottom of the plateau, the Morette site is a major remembrance venue featuring the National Necropolis of Les Glières, the Resistance Museum and the Deportation Memorial.

© LA Selle

Mountains everywhere

As you explore, you'll become aware of the omnipresence of the local culture of the Annecy Mountains.

Old farmhouses and ancient chalets, bread furnaces, fountains, oratories and little chapels, and the sound of cow bells from the Tarentaise cows… An entire heritage and a whole way of life waiting to be (re)discovered during your visits to the Wood & Forest Ecomuseum, La Source, Le Hameau des Alpes, the Lake Annecy Ecomuseum and the Pays de Laudon Museum. These cultural centres offer an amusing way to learn about the history of our mountains and experience a taste of the lives of the local people!

© Espérance III

The Espérance III

A living symbol of Lake Annecy and its heritage.

A century ago or more, Lake Doussard in Abigny was traversed by boats with lateen sails that carried thousands of tons of cargo by windpower, such as dimension stone, wood for heating, barrels of wine, and coal. The Espérance III is a replica of the Espérance II, with 2 masts and 2 lateen sails shaped like the “ears of Annecy”. Seating up to 12 passengers, this vessel invites you to experience the soft mobility of the olden days, and of the future! The Espérance III launching ceremony took place on 17th September 2021 during the European Heritage Days.

© Musee Paccard

The Paccard Museum

Bells ringing out across the world.

The Paccard Foundry is part and parcel of Annecy’s cultural and industrial heritage, passed down through eight generations for over two centuries to make the reputation of Annecy and France echo across the world ! The Paccard Museum plunges you into the magic of molten metal, revealing the expert craft of bell-making with the help of tools, engravings, photographs, documents and foundry creations. On Thursdays only, if you book ahead, you can even see the bells being cast. This captivating tour will definitely resonate!