The town of Duingt is located
on the west bank of Lake Annecy. The peninsula which juts out
into the lake from Duingt has been inhabitated since the melting
of the continental glaciers, some ten thousand years ago.
legend tells of a lord of Duingt who had decided to build a bridge
from the Duingt peninsula to the Roc de Chère promontory,
on the other side of the lake. He enlisted the help of sprites,
but refused to pay them for their work. The sprites rebelled
and magically removed the bridge, whose last vestiges are the
wooden piers that can be seen under a fathom of water at the
shallows just east of the castle. (Archeologists tell us that
the wooden piers are in fact the remains of dwellings built when
the lake level was lower, perhaps three thousand years ago).
Painting of Duingt, at left, by Suzanne
Duingt today is considered one
of the most beautiful villages of France, according to the book
of the same name ("Les Plus Beaux Villages de France").
With it medieval streets and houses, the village has retained
much of the charm of its past and has no fewer than three castles:
one, in ruins, can only be seen in winter when the leaves fall
from the trees. The others, the Château de Duingt or "Châteauvieux"
graces the peninsula, and in 1896 was the subject of a painting
by Paul Cézanne. The third, the Château d'Héré,
is now owned by the town and is used for concerts and gatherings.
There are also several fine
hotels and restaurants, including the beautifully renovated Hôtel du Lac.
Also a fine restaurant, the Hôtel du Lac has kept an air
of old-fashioned elegance that belies its modern accommodations.
To catch the view from the hotel,
click here to see the latest image taken by the webcam
within the past hour (9am-4pm, Savoie time)!
Page and images ©
1996, 1999 by Robert F. Jeantet
Last updated March 16 2000