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Haute-Savoie (French Alps)Annecy

Set of eleven then and now photos of Annecy.

Annecy is known as the Venice of the French Alps. It sits next to a lake of the same name – Lake Annecy and has rivers and canals. The lake supplies part of Annecy’s drinking water as it is one of the cleanest lakes in Europe.

What sets Annecy apart from other towns and cities in France is its proximity to Lake Annecy and mountains. Not only can you swim in the lake you can also enjoy its views and take in a boat ride if you like. The beaches along the lake offer relaxing panoramas and if you look in the direction of the end of the lake you can spot La Dame du Lac.

There are numerous parks and beaches that border Lake Annecy. The most visible and popular is Le Pâquier (aka Champ de Mars on some maps) an 18 acre park that looks out over the lake and mountains that border it. There is also Jardin de l'europe park that is linked to Le Pâquier via Le pont des Amours au-dessus. Photographers have your camera ready as Le pont des Amours au-dessus offers a great photo looking away from the lake towards the Vassé Canal.

Annecy doesn’t seem big or overbearing and feels smaller than its 50,000 inhabitants would suggest. Just to confuse visitors one of the towns next to Annecy is named Annecy-le-Vieux and is not to be confused with the old center of town - La Vieille ville.

Annecy has many yearly events including a carnival in February, Fête du lac on the first Saturday of August - one of the largest fireworks shows in Europe, Annecy International Animation Film Festival in June and Le Retour des Alpages in October – when cows parade though the streets. Annecy also played host to the Tour de France in 2009.

The Thiou River that runs through Annecy has the distention of being the shortest river in France. It runs for only a little over two miles from Lake Annecy to the Fier River. Parts of Annecy’s north-western border are formed by the Fier River.

Annecy’s other sites include the Château d'Annecy constructed off and on between the 11th and 16th centuries, Palais de l'Isle built in the 11th century and located in the middle of the Thiou Canal and La Vieille ville the old heart of Annecy.

Annecy is accessible by car off the A41 Autoroute (toll highway), of which a new extension to Geneva was recently finished. Annecy also has a small regional airport and train station.

'Je suis Charlie' (I am Charlie) march in Annecy.

View of Annecy

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