History of Château de Menthon
Set on the shores of Lake Annecy, not far from the Menthon palace, with breathtaking lake and mountain views, this historic Savoyard monument is one of the region’s must-sees. Made up of three high, square defensive towers in the 12th century, the château fort de Menthon was transformed into a residence during the Renaissance. In the 18th century, a facade was built facing the lake. In the 19th century, further modifications gave the château its unique and mysterious allure. Château de Menthon bears precious witness to the way in which feudal castles were transformed over the centuries, gradually losing their defensive role and often becoming sumptuous residences. This one has the particularity of bearing witness to almost 10 centuries of continuous history, as it has belonged to the same family since its origins, i.e. for more than 20 generations. The romanticism of its current architecture is said to have inspired director Walt Disney to create his Sleeping Beauty castle. Neo-Gothic restorations in the 19th century have given the building its unique silhouette, making it an architectural and historical gem on Lake Annecy.
Visit the château at Menthon Saint Bernard
Tours of the château can be organized individually or in groups. The guided tour lasts around 45 minutes. Admire the sublime half-timbered gallery, the kitchen with its incredible 15-metre-long passe-plat dug into the rock, the chapel with its references to Saint-Bernard-de-Menthon, the grand salon, the room with its Aubusson tapestries, the pilgrims’ room and the remarkable library, home to over 12,000 antique books, including a copy of Diderot and d’Alembert’s Encyclopédie. The château’s gardens then offer an exceptional place to recharge your batteries: the permaculture vegetable garden and its greenhouses are the subject of dedicated tours, workshops and participative workcamps, as is the vineyard. Catering is available on the château’s terrace: ideal for a snack with a superb view of the lake.
Rates and opening hours
The château is open to visitors from April 5 to November 11. It is located 15 km from the L’idéal campsite in the heart of the Haute Savoie department in the Auvergne Rhône Alpes region. Visits are open from 12pm to 7pm every day in July and August, and from 2pm to 6pm on Fridays, weekends and public holidays during the rest of the season. Prices are 9.50 euros for adults aged 16 and over, and 5 euros for children aged 6 to 16. The visit is free for children under 6. A visit to the gardens costs just 2 euros. Group tours of the kitchen garden are available on reservation, at a fixed price of 100 euros per 15 people, for a 1-2 hour visit. Snacks are served when the château is open for visitors. After your visit, you can try your hand at paragliding in Talloires, not far from the château!