ANNECY, the chief town of the department of Haute Savoie in France. Pop. (1906) 10,763. It is situated at a height of 1470 ft., at the northern end of the lake of Annecy, and is 25 m. by rail N.E. of Aix les Bains. The surrounding country presents many scenes of beauty. The town itself is a pleasant residence, and contains a 16th century cathedral church, an 18th century bishop's palace, a 14th-16th century castle (formerly the residence of the counts of the Genevois), and the reconstructed convent of the Visitation, wherein now reposes the body of St François de Sales (born at the castle of Sales, close by, in 1567; died at Lyons in 1622), who held the see from 1602 to 1622. There is also a public library, with 20,000 volumes, and various scientific collections, and a public garden, with a statue of the chemist Berthollet (1748-1822), who was born not far off. The bishop's see of Geneva was transferred hither in 1535, after the Reformation, but suppressed in 1801, though revived in 1822. There are factories of linen and cotton goods, and of felt hats, paper mills, and a celebrated bell foundry at Annecy le Vieux. This last-named place existed in Roman times. Annecy itself was in the 10th century the capital of the counts of the Genevois, from whom it passed in 1401 to the counts of Savoy, and became French in 1860 on the annexation of Savoy.
The Lake of Annecy is about 9 m. in length by 2 m. in breadth, its surface being 1465 ft. above the level of the sea. It discharges its waters, by means of the Thioux canal, into the Fier, a tributary of the Rhone.
(W. A. B. C.)
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)