Château d’Annecy

Annecy was interesting. There are not many places I have seen that this much effort has gone into constructing towers which are large over… something else. I am not sure what, but from whatever side one approaches this hilltop keep, towers of the kind one imagines in fiction rather than real life loom large. It could be that this is the style from the Île-de-France that the lords of this place took over, but I haven’t been and so cannot confirm. Yet!

The ancestral seat of the counts of Geneva, Annecy is now situated in a different country. There is no clear line that separates this place from what Geneva is, however, and I imagine the cultural connections are as strong as ever. This could also be one of the older monuments close to Geneva itself with only Nyon and Rolle on the other side (in Vaud) maintaining a medieval semblance.

One of the imposing towers

Annecy’s château, situated as it is on a hilltop, which is still not nearly as powerful as the Alps to the east. I wonder, therefore, when the Genevese counts sat in their high seat — what went through their minds? Did the dreaming ones see themselves raising a greater castle into the mountains they saw? Did the pessimistic ones see an enemy descending at any time?

I think this setting, so unique and yet common — depending on who you are and where you are from — is what gives Annecy it’s most poignant feel. The mountain storms that have ranged upon these lower hills have left their mark, and yet this is one we cannot see or feel — and only an octogenarian nobleman, used to these slopes, would be able to define what life means here having experienced it for so long.

Would they have thought it was the rage of those indomitable mountains cast against their castle?..

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