This medieval bourg, ideally situated on the expanse separating the "little lake" from the "great lake", still possesses some of the essential elemants of the fortifications of the 14th Century : the castle, doors, ramparts...
Known as a modest fishing village in the beginning of the century, Yvoire is now ranked as one of the International Laureates of Floral Decorations, and is a member of the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages of France. This medieval city celebrated its 700 years in 2006.
Since ancient times, the upper valley of the Rhône and Lake Leman have formed a route through the Alps between Italy and France ; the lake itself, with its varying winds, facilitates the transport of goods which are carried on lateen-rigged boats. Yvoire’s strategic position, on a point between the “small lake” and the “large lake” did not escape the notice of Count Amédée V the Great, who under took important fortifications from 1306, during the war between the Dauphiné and Savoy. For half a century, the village of Yvoire had a very important military rôle, which earned certain freedoms for its inhabitants in 1324. Later, when the whole region was occupied by the Bernese, allies of the French and Genevese from 1536 to 1591, the village lost its ramparts and military rôle ; the castle was burnt and remained roofless for 350 years. For a long period, Yvoire sank back into anonymity and the proud strongpoint became a village of farmers and fishermen. Important evidence of the past has been miraculously preserved : the castle, ramparts and fortified gateways, ditches and houses. These must be restored and brought to life, yet protected against the ravages of modernity so as to preserve the atmosphere.
Few things to visit:
The Garden of the Fives Senses
The Labyrinth – Garden of the Five Senses In the heart of the village, the castle’s former kitchen garden restored in medieval style has been transformed into a spot of rest and dream : a plants labyrinth changing with hours and seasons, a timeless walk of discovery for all ages, a universe of colours, scents, sounds and textures... Classified « Remarkable Garden » by the French Ministry of Culture.
House of History
Created in an old residence of the old borough, the House of the History transports you back to the medieval universe through the exhibition "An exceptional written heritage: the founding documents of Yvoire ". Whether an educational or leisure visit, models and plays bring this world to life providing a voyage through the centuries for small and large.
Rovorée-La Châtaignière Area
Spread over 24 hectares, with a lakeside of 1.2 km, the Rovorée-La Châtaignière site is made up of two public properties belonging to the Haute Savoie Departmental Council and the Coast and Lakeside Preservation Authority. It is a Protected Nature Area, and area for family walks and relaxation, with signposted paths. It has a remarkable group of chestnut trees which are several hundred years old, and is accessible on foot along the green path leaving from Yvoire, or by the sun-shuttle which runs during the summer season.
«Pourpoint, Mantel et Chaperon .... se vêtir à la Cour de Savoie 1300-1450 »
The Chataignière manor - rovorée estate Department for arts and culture - sensitive naturaL habitat Nestled in the heart of the Rovorée Estate, Chestnut Manor sits amidst 24 acres of woods and meadows, while about one kilometre of the property directly borders the lakeside. Chestnut Manor, host of the Department for Arts and Culture, blends the cultural and natural heritage of the region. Several exhibits on the theme of water and alpine lakes in artworks from the 17th century to contemporary times are presented in this manor, typical of the 20th century lakeside architecture. Exhibition «Le vêtement à la Cour de Savoie à la fin du Moyen-Age » Photos, drawings, posters, advertising documents, costumes and mountain equipments reveal the birth of a specialized fashion.
A few art galleries: Gallery Workshop Roger Henri, Mickie Doussy, Galerie d'Art Véronique Ziminski, Galerie d'Art Verrier Opaline and Galerie Fert.
Not possible to visit the Castle.
Recommanded Restaurants: "Les Jardins du Léman", "Le Pré de la Cure" , "Le Bateau Ivre", "La Perche" and "Les Galets".
Speciality here "Filet de Perche", local fish.
No cars allowed in the center, so enjoy the calm of the pedestrian street! However, not really recommanded for wheeling chairs or persons with walking difficulties....
Nice little boutiques!
Enjoy some crêpes or ice cream!
Also possible to go for a swim!
Only problem can be really crowded during school holidays or week ends! Also you have to pay for the parking...