Although almost every town of France is charming and picturesque in its own way, one of the best towns, if not the best, is Annecy, which is known as both the “Pearl of the Alps” and the “Venice of the Alps”. Located in the Haute-Savoie region of France, Annecy sits in a unique location with river canals, an alpine lake, and easy access to the foothills of the Alps along with the larger peaks of the range. Annecy is also a historic town, with roots stretching back to the tenth century, the Duchy of Savoy, and a number of items that affected French history, such as the counter-reformation and the French Revolution. With its old town, expansive lakeside park, and associated outdoor activities, Annecy is a town a visitor could spend numerous days in easily; but whether one is spending a day or longer there, these locations in and around Annecy will keep one busy no matter the time of year.
Annecy is a charming town at the base of the French Alps. Sometimes called the “Venice of the Alps”, Annecy has a number of historic structures and activities for the traveler. One of the more unique structures in the old town of Annecy is the Palais de l’Île, which sits in the middle of the River Thiou. Built in the mid-twelfth century to control access to the river, and house prisoners, this small castle was later used as a mint in the fourteenth century. From the fourteenth century on, this castle was used for a number of things, including a prison through the Second World War. Following an extensive renovation, the Palais de l’Île now houses a museum featuring permanent exhibits about the history of the region, along with various traveling exhibits.