The Château of
Menthon St-Bernard

Menthon St-Bernard castle overlooks the small lakeside town of Menthon, on the shores of Lake Annecy. The castle is still inhabited by the Menthon family, whose presence in the area dates back to the XIth century. The most illustrious member of this family was Saint Bernard, the monk who founded travelers' refuges on high mountain passes. More recently, the father of the current earl was the French government's representative at the Nuremberg war trials, and also a distinguished European legislator.

The castle, originally a bleak structure, was extensively remodeled in the XIXth century, turning it from a squat fortress into the fairy-tale castle that it now resembles. It houses a magnificent library which is a treasure trove of medieval illuminated manuscripts and incunabula . Several Books of Hours are displayed in glass cases so that the illustrations and calligraphy may be enjoyed.

The most magnificent room of the castle is the Great Hall, which is lavishly decorated
with antique furniture and priceless paintings. Visitors also can see the library, with its
thousands of leather-bound volumes, bedrooms, and the old kitchen, with its fanciful equipment.

Guided Tours

May, June, September : Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays: 2pm -6pm
July, August : Every afternoon, from noon to 6pm.

Skits by actors in period costumes, illustrating important events in the castle's history,
are staged every weekend and on holidays.

To rent facilities for receptions, conferences, weddings: call



Page and images © 1996, 1999 by Robert F. Jeantet
end of the page Château de Menthon