Château-Neuf, Château-Vieux, Commelinges, La Chavanne, Les Bougeries, Les Fleysets, Macheron, Mésinges and Noyer. These nine hamlets form the village of Allinges. Close to Lake Geneva and the first ski resorts, this small, rather residential town – 4,950 Allingeois – is so attractive that you shouldn’t be afraid of appearing on a “waiting list” to be able to settle there. -he !
If the history of Allinges goes back at least to the early phase of the final bronze, the vestiges of its still visible past date rather from the 10th century. One of its celebrities, Château-Vieux, or rather its keep, was gradually abandoned in favor of Château-Neuf, its eternal rival which faces it only a few meters away! These two witnesses of the disputes between the houses of Faucigny and Savoie dominate the hill of Allinges which, itself, offers one of the most beautiful panoramas of Chablais on Lake Geneva, the Swiss and French Jura and the Dent d’Oche. .
But back to Château-Neuf! While its Romanesque chapel, listed as a Historic Monument, houses one of the oldest mural paintings in Haute-Savoie, this castle served as the residence of Saint François de Sales during his mission to evangelize the province (1594-1598).
One of the must-see sites of the Chablais Unesco Global Geopark
If the history of Allinges can be read in stone, it has also left traces in its landscape. In La Chavanne, a chestnut grove that has become a popular public space is making a lot of noise! At least, several legends are employed there.
While one claims that in 1391, Amédée VII of Savoy would have been mortally wounded there by a monstrous boar; another says he “just” collapsed there. As for Saint Francis de Sales, he would have found refuge there one night in December 1594 in the face of a pack of wolves. He would have spent the night there, his belt tied to a branch of one of the chestnut trees so as not to fall during his sleep!
The natural environment of Allinges is also a very popular setting today. The hill of the Allinges castles is one of the must-see sites of the Chablais Unesco Global Geopark and it is crossed by many trails, including the long-distance hike along the Lake Geneva coast.
One more asset for this territory with its dynamic community life. A big meeting also awaits its schoolchildren: as part of the Terre de jeux 2024 label, Allinges is organizing “Olympic Games” for them in June 2022! A joyful nod to another child of the country, Charles Bouvet-Bionda, who wore the colors of France at the 1948 Games in London!
Like its desire to live with the times, the municipality is mobilizing more broadly for its territory. If only through an Agenda 30, implemented alongside the association Notre village d’avenir.
Known for its two castles, Allinges conceals some astonishing treasures. Starting with its six oratories and the half-bell tower of the chapel of Château-Neuf.
Equally remarkable, the Devil’s Stone (also called Passet Stone, one of the devil’s nicknames) and its 13 cupules (hollow sculptures) attract both sports enthusiasts and history buffs! Deposited by glaciers, this erratic block 25 m in circumference and 8 m high considered an ancient place of worship (from prehistory to Christian times) is a very popular climbing site!
Surprising too, the “Testament Bétemps”. Died in 1888, François Adolphe Bétemps bequeathed to the village of Mésinges buildings, land (including a cemetery), a covered wash house and Peronne, the small bell of the chapel melted in Quintal in 1856 by the Paccard brothers.
Speaking of bells, the bell that punctuates the students of the new Aerospace school is none other than the bell tower of the town hall. Founded for the first time in 1606, it was restored by the Paccard brothers in 1862!