The City of Faverges occupies the glacial valley which gave birth to Lake Annecy. Originally, at the end of the Ice Age, the lake extended some 30km, from Sillingy all the way to our community. In those times, the waters of the lake joined the Isère river, and people first settled the lakeshores and sunny slopes.

The digs in Viuz and at the Thovey site have yielded a great deal of information about Gallo-Roman times, some two thousand years ago. The vicus of Viuz, which covered some fifty acres, was an important stop along the Roman road which ran from Turin to Geneva. Merovingian times also left numerous traces on the landscape. In the Middle Ages, pre-industrial metalworks were reknowned for their iron and copper tools and jewelry. Numerous forges, making nails, clasps, and all types of iron implements, were built along the rivers and streams from which they derived some of their energy needs. The Tamié Abbey was founded in 1132, and Faverges castle around 1250. At that time, Rodolphe (or "Ruph") lived a hermit's life on a nearby mountain and left his name to the hamlet of St. Ruph. The deep religious fervor of the XIVth and XVth centuries is responsible for the ten chapels and sanctuaries dedicated to St. Ruph in the area.

The French Revolution left few traces on the community, except for some vandalism to the town church. In 1811, the castle was turned into a cotton-weaving factory, thus launching Faverges into the Industrial Revolution. This is a fitting heritage for a town whose name derives from the Latin faber, fabricae ("manufacture"). Faverges now has several important factories providing some 2,500 jobs, which is especially remarkable in that Faverges itself has only 7,000 inhabitants.

If you would like to learn more about Faverges and its history, please come to the Archeological Museum and meet Les Amis de Viuz Faverges who will gladly share their knowledge with you.


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Page and images © 1997, 2000 by Robert F. Jeantet

end of the Faverges Welcome web page - May 08 2000