Annecy's Old Prison, also known as Palais de l'Ile, in the Rhône Alps, east France.
Annecy is a large town in the north French Alps less than an hour's drive from Switzerland's Geneva, much of it not at all attractive or interesting but with a small but dramatic medieval core (which is confusingly NOT the area called Annecy-le-Vieux!), and a spectacular lake (Lac d'Annecy) overlooked by mountains including Mont Blanc.
Annecy is a popular non-winter tourist destination and provides a wide selection of activities to suit all comers, be they elderly - for whom a stagger around the old quarter, a decent meal and a boat trip around the lake would constitute a fine day - or families with young children who will enjoy pedalos, splashing in the lake and perhaps biking, or adrenalin junkies who would use Annecy as a base for paragliding/hangliding, rock climbing, hiking and biking on well organised routes.
Musée-Chateau d'Annecy, the Castle Museum, on the River Thiou.
A little Annecy history: Traces of a neolithic lake settlement from about 4,000 BC can be found near Annecy, as well as remains of the 50 BC Roman town of Boutae, but the town really began to settle when a castle/chateau was built beside the River Thiou in the 13th century.
The River Thiou, with many delightful little restaurants and bars lining it as it winds through the old quarter.
Annecy recently set a new record for winning national 'Towns in Bloom' prizes with 31 times, in addition to taking the 'Flowered Towns Grand Prix' 6 times in 18 years.
The high life starts in Canal du Vassé; antique speed boats run tours of the lake if the big cruise boats are not to the liking of the more affluent tourist.
Champ de Mars, a small part of the large green recreation areas bordering Lac d'Annecy. On the right in the distance is Mont Blanc. Click for Pictures of Lac d'Annecy and information on natural attractions, cycling in the area and how to get to Annecy.
Outside Annecy is La Route des Ducs de Savoie, a road linking 12 castles, abbeys and other historic sights and museums, including Château de Montrottier and Château de Menthon-Saint-Bernard.
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