- April 17, 2017
Annecy is the largest city of Haute-Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in southeastern France. It lies on the northern tip of Lake Annecy, 35 kilometers (22 mi) south of Geneva.
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 the lack of available land, its resident population has remained stagnant, with 52,029 inhabitants living within the city limits in 2013. However, its urban area, with 221,000 inhabitants, is on the 5th regional position, just behind the Geneva-Annemasse urban area, which counts 292,000 inhabitants in the northern department.
Switching from counts of Geneva’s dwelling in the 13th century, to counts of Savoy’s in the 14th century, the city became the capital of the Savoy province in 1434 during the prerogative of Genevois-Nemours until 1659. Its role increased in 1536, during the Calvinist Reformation of Geneva, while the bishop took refuge in Annecy. St Francis de Sales gave Annecy its role of advanced citadel of the Catholic Counter-Reformation. The annexation of Savoy will link the city to France in 1860.