È(n)neci  (Arpitan)
Lac d'Annecy.jpg
Préfecture de Haute-Savoie (Annecy) (cropped).JPG
Annecy, France (37635411615).jpg
Annecy (16424794220).jpg
Clockwise from top: Lake Annecy seen from the Pont des Amours, Château d'Annecy, Passage de l'Île, Haute-Savoie prefecture building
Flag of Annecy
Coat of arms of Annecy
Location of Annecy
Annecy is located in France
Annecy is located in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Coordinates: 45°54′58″N 6°07′59″E / 45.916°N 6.133°E / 45.916; 6.133Coordinates: 45°54′58″N 6°07′59″E / 45.916°N 6.133°E / 45.916; 6.133
CantonAnnecy-1, 2, Annecy-3 and 4
IntercommunalityCA Grand Annecy
 • Mayor (2020–2026) François Astorg
66.94 km2 (25.85 sq mi)
 • Urban
210.5 km2 (81.3 sq mi)
 (Jan. 2018)[1]
 • Density1,900/km2 (5,000/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Urban density810/km2 (2,100/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
74010 /74000
Dialling codes0450
Elevation396–1,153 m (1,299–3,783 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Annecy (US: /ˌænəˈs, ɑːnˈs/ AN-ə-SEE, ahn-SEE,[2][3] French: [ansi] (About this soundlisten); Arpitan: Èneci or Ènneci) is the prefecture and largest city of the Haute-Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of Southeastern France. It lies on the northern tip of Lake Annecy, 35 kilometres (22 mi) south of Geneva, Switzerland. Nicknamed the "Pearl of French Alps" in Raoul Blanchard's monograph describing its location between lake and mountains, the city controls the northern entrance to the lake gorge. Due to a lack of available building land between the lake and the protected Semnoz mountain, its population has remained stagnant, around 50,000 inhabitants, since 1950. However, the 2017 merger with several ex-communes extended the city population to 126,924 inhabitants and 170,753 for its urban area,[4] placing Annecy seventh in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.

Switching from the counts of Geneva's dwelling in the 13th century, to the counts of Savoy's in the 14th century, the city became Savoy's capital in 1434 during the Genevois-Nemours prerogative until 1659. Its role increased in 1536, during the Calvinist Reformation in Geneva, while the bishop took refuge in Annecy. Saint Francis de Sales gave Annecy its advanced Catholic citadel role known as Counter-Reformation. The annexation of Savoy merged the city to France in 1860. Sometimes called "Venice of the Alps", this idyllic and touristic representation comes from the three canals and the Thiou river, which passes through the old city. The city experienced an industrial development in the 19th century with silk manufacturing. Some of its industrial legacy remains today with the headquarters of NTN-SNR bearings, Salomon, Entremont and Dassault Aviation.

From the end of the 19th century, Annecy developed tourism around its lake summer facilities, winter resorts proximity and cultural attraction with its castle renovation and fine art museum opening in 1956 and the Animated Film Festival since 1963, hosted in Bonlieu's cultural centre. The municipal environmental policy managed to keep 40.3% of green spaces and the city and was awarded the "Golden Flower" in 2015, given to the nine most-flowered French cities. Its educational area is growing since the University of Savoy establishment in 1973.


Annecy city centre, 2019

The Fier forms part of the commune's northwestern border. The surrounding mountains are Mont Veyrier, Mont Semnoz, La Tournette and Parmelan.


Early history

Annecy City Hall
1914 map, French edition

Le vieil Annecy ("Old Annecy"), (not to be confused with Annecy-le-Vieux, formerly a neighboring town but now merged into Annecy), was a settlement from the time of the Romans.[5] Annecy was the court of the counts of Geneva[5] or Genevois from the 10th century.[6] It passed to the counts of Savoy in 1401.[6] In 1444, it became the regional capital of the provinces of Genevois, Faucigny and Beaufortain.


With the advance of Calvinism, Annecy became a centre for the Counter-Reformation, the old Bishopric of Geneva being transferred to it in 1535.[6] Francis of Sales was born in Sales, France in 1567 and served as bishop of Annecy from 1602 to 1622;[6] his relics are preserved in the cathedral.[5] During the French Revolution, the Savoy region was conquered by France. Annecy became attached to the department of Mont Blanc, whose capital was Chambéry.[7] The Catholic diocese was suppressed in 1801.[citation needed]

Recent times

After the Bourbon Restoration in 1815, Annecy was returned to the King of Sardinia and the Catholic diocese restored in 1822.[citation needed] When Savoy was annexed to France in 1860 with the Treaty of Turin, it became the capital of the new department of Haute-Savoie. Annecy was the site of the second round of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) talks in 1949. In 2012, a multiple murder occurred in the Annecy area.[8]

A panoramic image from the southern bank of the Thiou in the city centre as of July 2018

The new municipality was established on 1 January 2017 by merger with the former communes of Annecy-le-Vieux, Cran-Gevrier, Meythet, Pringy and Seynod.[9]


Annecy is part of four cantons (Annecy-1, Annecy-2, Annecy-3 and Annecy-4); it is the prefecture of Haute-Savoie.

Since 2017, Annecy has consisted of six delegate cities: Annecy; Annecy-le-Vieux; Cran-Gevrier; Meythet; Pringy; and Seynod. Local government consists of a city council with 202 members. The number of members in each commune delegate depends upon its population. The Mayor is Jean-Luc Rigaut (UDI) since 2007.

The intercommunality of Annecy, Communauté d'agglomération du Grand Annecy, includes 34 municipalities.


Annecy has an oceanic climate (Köppen: Cfb) in spite of its relatively far inland position. Influenced by its elevation, summers are rather moderate on average, although they can be highly variable with extreme heat spikes. Winters see occasional freezing temperatures, but most often stays in the single-digits during daytime with frequent cold rain. Air frosts are normal during the night and snowfall is not uncommon.

Climate data for Annecy, Haute-Savoie - Alt : 458m
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 16.5
Average high °C (°F) 5.4
Daily mean °C (°F) 1.9
Average low °C (°F) −1.6
Record low °C (°F) −23.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 91.2
Average precipitation days 11.2 9.4 10.2 10.3 11.6 9.1 9.6 10.2 9.1 11.4 11.7 11.0 124.8
Mean monthly sunshine hours 90.8 114.7 169.4 193.6 221.0 259.7 274.6 241.2 190.3 142.6 86.7 68.7 2,053.3
Source 1: Météo France
Source 2: Infoclimat [1]


Annecy has hosted the Annecy International Animated Film Festival since 1960 and the Rencontres Internationales d'Annecy Cinéma & Architecture since 1999 and it was one of the oldest festivals in France.


On 23 July 2009, Annecy played host to Stage 18 of the Tour de France, as the start/finish point for an individual time trial around Lake Annecy. It was also the start town for stage 10 of the 2018 Tour de France on 17 July 2018.

Annecy launched a bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympic Games but lost to Pyeongchang.[10] If they had been chosen, Annecy would have been the fourth French city to host the Winter Olympic Games, after Chamonix (1924), Grenoble (1968), and Albertville (1992).

Ligue 1 former team Évian Thonon Gaillard F.C. played their home matches in Annecy. The club was founded in 2007, they grew up to reach Ligue 1, and stayed for three years in the division, thanks to their emblematic trainer Pascal Dupraz.

The Annecy basin is one of the world's leading locations for the sport of paragliding, an activity of some economic importance to the region.[11] The area regularly hosts major competitions, most recently a leg of the Paragliding World Cup in 2012.[12] Due to its proximity with the lake and the mountains, Annecy is also popular for watersports (sailing, rowing, wakeboarding, water skiing) and wintersports (alpine skiing, snowboarding, Nordic skiing). Le Semnoz, a relatively small ski resort is 35 minutes away from Annecy. Other bigger ski resorts, La Clusaz and Le Grand Bornand, are only 40 minutes away. Annecy is also very popular among trail runners and many races are organized year round, such as the World Trail Running Championships in 2015.[13]

Main sights

The Palais de l'Isle and Thiou river
  • The Palais de l'Isle is a 12th-century castle on an island in the river Thiou in Annecy's administrative headquarters. It mostly served as a prison and courthouse until the French Revolution. It again was a prison during World War II. The Palais de l'Ile was classified as a Historical Monument in 1900, and today houses a local history museum.
  • The Château d'Annecy (Annecy Castle) was the home of the Counts of Geneva and the Dukes of Genevois-Nemours, an offshoot
  • The 15th century Église Saint-Maurice



Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1793 4,440—    
1800 5,130+2.09%
1806 5,467+1.07%
1822 5,724+0.29%
1838 8,252+2.31%
1848 8,547+0.35%
1858 10,374+1.96%
1861 9,370−3.34%
1866 11,554+4.28%
1872 11,581+0.04%
1876 10,976−1.33%
1881 11,334+0.64%
1886 11,817+0.84%
1891 11,947+0.22%
1896 12,894+1.54%
1901 13,611+1.09%
1906 14,351+1.06%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1911 15,622+1.71%
1921 15,004−0.40%
1926 17,233+2.81%
1931 20,289+3.32%
1936 23,293+2.80%
1946 26,722+1.38%
1954 33,114+2.72%
1962 43,255+3.40%
1968 54,484+3.92%
1975 53,262−0.32%
1982 49,965−0.91%
1990 49,644−0.08%
1999 50,348+0.16%
2006 51,023+0.19%
2012 50,943−0.03%
2017 126,924+20.03%
Annecy was merged with four neighbouring communes in 2017.
Source: EHESS (1793-1999)[14] and INSEE[15][16][17]

Research organisations

  • LAPP Laboratoire d'Annecy-le-Vieux de Physique des Particules specialized in Physics
  • Mecatronics department of CETIM
  • Different R&D activities in the Université de Savoie and its École Polytechnique d'Ingenieurs: Polytech'Savoie.


Logo of the City of Annecy

In the 19th century, the primary manufactures were linen and cotton goods, glass, cutlery, earthenware, and leather.[5] The area also carried on linen bleaching and iron mining.[5] By the First World War, it was connected by rail to Aix-les-Bains and there were factories for linen and cotton goods, felt hats, and paper, as well as a "celebrated" bell foundry at Annecy-le-Vieux.[6]

Companies located in and around Annecy include:


The Gare d'Annecy railway station offers connections with Lyon, Geneva, Paris, Grenoble and several regional destinations.

Annecy – Haute-Savoie – Mont Blanc Airport currently used for private air transport only.

Twin towns – sister cities

Annecy is twinned with:[18]


Together with other Alpine towns Annecy engages in the Alpine Town of the Year Association for the implementation of the Alpine Convention to achieve sustainable development in the Alpine Arc. Annecy is also Alpine Town of the Year 2012.

Notable people

Francis de Sales in Annecy
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Associated with the city


See also


  1. ^ "Populations légales 2018". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 28 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Annecy". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Annecy". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  4. ^ Unité urbaine d'Annecy (74601), Commune d'Annecy (74010), INSEE
  5. ^ a b c d e EB (1878).
  6. ^ a b c d e EB (1911).
  7. ^ Almanach Impérial an bissextil MDCCCXII, p. 437-438, accessed in Gallica 23 May 2017 (in French)
  8. ^ "France shootings: Three victims shot in head". BBC News Online. BBC. 6 September 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
  9. ^ "Arrêté du 14 juillet 2016 portant création d'une commune nouvelle" (in French).
  10. ^ Paula Hancocks, CNN. "South Korean city to host 2018 Winter Olympics". Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  11. ^ Paragliding in the Annecy Basin (PDF) (in French), DRDJS Rhone Alpes, archived from the original (PDF) on 3 December 2010, retrieved 30 October 2011
  12. ^ World Cup France Talloires 2012, retrieved 15 August 2014
  13. ^ Record participation for 2015 IAU Trail World Championships| News |
  14. ^ Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Commune data sheet Annecy, EHESS. (in French)
  15. ^ Populations légales 2006: Téléchargement du fichier d'ensemble, INSEE
  16. ^ Populations légales 2012: Téléchargement du fichier d'ensemble, INSEE
  17. ^ Téléchargement du fichier d'ensemble des populations légales en 2017, INSEE
  18. ^ "Les jumelages de la commune déléguée d'Annecy". (in French). Annecy. Retrieved 21 April 2021.


External links

  • Annecy town website (in French and English)
  • Annecy photo blog (in French)
  • Annecy photos guide (in French)
  • The former mayor of Annecy Bernard Bosson (in French)
  • Official web site of the Association Annecy Traditions, organizer (in English)
  • The International Animated Film Festival
  • Festival du film italien d'Annecy
  • Annecy City (in English and French)
  • Lake Annecy tourism Official website
  • Annecy Tourist guide (in French)
  • Association of the Friends of the Old Annecy (in French)