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Nestling amid stunning mountain scenery, shimmering Lake Annecy is one of France's most popular tourist areas. Among its highlights is the pretty town of Annecy, which is perched on the lake's northern tip.

The town has had a long history; from about the 9th century it was the capital of the County of Geneva, and it passed into the Duchy of Savoy in 1401. During both of these periods, a number of the attractive buildings that still line the centre's streets were constructed. Annecy finally became a recognised part of France during the French Revolution.

Soon after this the lake and wonderful scenery surrounding it began to be noticed as an ideal holiday location. The town of Annecy, with its beautiful backdrop, network of criss-crossed canals, and winding ancient alleyways, then became known as a delightful resort - a reputation it has enjoyed ever since.

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Palais de l'Isle

This iconic landmark occupies a commanding position in the centre of the Thion Canal. Completed in the 12th century, it was the Count of Geneva's administrative headquarters before serving as a courthouse, a mint, and most famously as a prison. Now a certified Historical Monument, the beautiful building now houses a museum detailing the town's history.

Château d'Annecy

Set high on a hill above the town, the spectacular château affords some fantastic views over the town centre and the lake. Amongst the public areas, parts of the fortress are now used as display space for the museum, and there is also an observatory in the tower.