France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Palais de l'Ile, Annecy, France
The iconic symbol of Annecy is one of the most photographed buildings in France!




Everyone who visits Annecy sees the Palais de l'Ile, and it seems as if they all photograph it too. It is lovely, day or night, and serves as a symbol of the town. Its austere stone facade stands in contrast to the colorful buildings of the Vieille Ville.

Palais de l'Ile, Annecy, France

As we discovered, in addition to photographing the monument, you can also visit the interior of the Palais de l'Ile and learn about its fascinating history.

Built in the 12th century on a small island in the Thiou Canal, from the front the Palais resembles the prow of a ship, sitting in the water. It served as the primary residence of the Lord of Annecy and was used as a prison as early as the 14th century.

In 1355 the Counts of Geneva established a mint in the Palais de l'Ile. It also served as the administrative center for the Counts, and later a court of law. It was used as a prison at different times, from the Middle Ages until World War II.

Named a historical monument in 1900, the Palais de l'Ile today is managed by the Centre d’Interprétation de l’architecture et du patrimoine (CIAP) which presents varying exhibitions on local history and culture.

In addition, and perhaps most interesting, is the chance to wander through the rooms of the Palais de l'Ile and see where the mint was, where the courts were, and where—and how—people were imprisoned.

Like everyone, I was intrigued by the pointed area with the tower in the front of the Palais. At the time we visited, a movie was being screened there and there were no views to the outside. In the courtyard just before that part, however, stands a large tree, a sign of life in an otherwise austere stone space.

While most people will be content with seeing the Palais de l'Ile from the outside and taking some pictures, we enjoyed the visit and the chance to experience some of Annecy's history and get some insights into more modern life in the region.

Hint: If you plan to visit the Palais de l'Ile and the Château, you can save a little money by buying a combined ticket.

About Annecy

Annecy Hotels

What to See & Do in Annecy

Château d'Annecy

Annecy Vieille Ville

Boat Excursion

Annecy Restaurants

Annecy Tourist Information

Annecy Transportation

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Palais de l'Ile, Annecy, France

Above, Night viw of the Palais de l'Ile, and the banks of the Thiou, lined with restaurants.

Below, Looking out a window of the Palais de l'Ile to the busy streets below.


Palais de l'Ile, Annecy, France

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