View of Duingt from Ponay, looking west across Lake Annecy


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.

Painting by S. Lansé, showing the view of Duingt from Talloires bayLocal 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 Lansé.

Château d'Héré, on the peninsula which juts out into the lake

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