Château d’Allaman

The confluence of paths near Allaman is a feature of its history — and one could say that this lakeside location is unsurprisingly in a coveted place, for who would not want to be situated in the midst of where the news travels. In the modern day, this is also a sizeable private property, which can be used for functions; historically, Allaman was almost what Geneva is today: a symbol of peace and common prosperity.

The latest — the episode of peace over war — comes from the ownership of these lands by M Jean-Jacques de Sellon who founded the Society for Peace in 1820. The designation of the ‘Castle of Peace’ derives from one decade on, when an international summit was held here on the very same topic.

Yet, M de Sellon only built upon years of previous history: the castle’s origins lie in the 11th century if not slightly earlier. The main structure was, however, built a bit later in the 1450’s under the auspice of Ludovico I of Savoie. As such it is another example of Savoyard influence near Lac Leman.

A look through the trees

Of the structure itself, the rock base on which it stands is impressive. It reminds me of the Japanese castles which were often so fortified, but more importantly it is also an incredible symbol of our capacity for prevailing against nature. The orders of some 10th or 11th century lord probably started the allegorical process of conquering landscape here, and though it took five centuries, it was accomplished.

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