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Once upon a time

Anecdotes from Lake Annecy

Apr 2022
4 min.

Draw me a fish

Today, on April 1, pranks are common, if not required, even those considered somewhat “fishy”.

April is the time of year when the aquatic vertebrate makes its return, and with it the area’s fishermen, who flock to the shores of the lake in the hopes of setting the right line during the first sunny days of spring.

For the occasion, we have prepared a short list of fish-related April fool’s pranks:

  • April fool’s fish signs with fish from Lake Annecy:  brown trout, arctic char, whitefish, tench, carp, freshwater cod, and crayfish.

Since we simply love everything about fish, we’re off to catch… a few good anecdotes. We promise, the stories are all true, no foolin’ (even on April Fool’s).

 

Lake Annecy through the eyes of Paul Cézanne

Always a favorite subject, Lake Annecy appears in paintings multiple times throughout history. While many artists have immortalized its waters, Paul Cézanne figures among the most famous.

Paul Cézanne belongs to the generation of painters with whom pictorial expression entered the modern era. While he may have sparked a certain level of misconception with some of his contemporaries by refuting the traditional standards for beauty in his early paintings, Cézanne still inspired many greats, from Matisse to Picasso by way of Malevitch and Mondrian. An impressionist at first, he flirted with some of the major movements at the time before focusing on the concept of imitating nature as it really looks in the moment. An obsession with serial work drove him, including his longtime focus on Mt Saint-Victoire. Cézanne “Reveals the progressive abstraction of the landscape until he extracts its true essence.”*

 

Tableau "Le Lac bleu" de Paul Cézanne

"Le Lac bleu" painted by Paul Cézanne

Long-recognized as one of history’s foremost artists, during a stay in Talloires in the summer of 1896, he painted “Le Lac Bleu” (The Blue Lake), currently on display at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. He managed to immortalize the waters of Lake Annecy in a single painting. Through different shades of deep blue, from the opposite bank, Cézanne provides us with his singular point of view and interpretation of the sun’s rays at dawn as they shine upon the castle in Duingt, its peninsula, and the surrounding mountains. The somewhat gloomy atmosphere offers a subtle mix of impressionism, cubism, and abstract techniques.

*”Histoire visuelle de l’Art,” edited by Claude Frontisi, Larousse Editions

When Jean-Paul II made a papal visit to Annecy

On October 7, 1986, Pope Jean Paul II stood on the Pâquier in front of a huge crowd of more than 80,000 faithful.

The papal visit started at Visitation Basilica, where the “pilgrim of peace” met with 500 priests and secular individuals carefully selected to welcome him. After speaking with three dozen members of Visitation church and signing their guestbook, Jean Paul II moved to the Pâquier to celebrate mass in front of thousands of people and an 800-person choir from over thirty parishes.

Beneath the blazing sun, he stated, “… thank you to the mountains and lakes. The weather has treated us with as much kindness as Saint-François de Sales would have,” reviving in just a few words Annecy’s prestigious religious past and deep connection to the patron saint of writers and journalists. This symbol resonates even more in 2022, the year that marks the 400th anniversary of Saint François de Sales’ death.

La venue du Pape Jean-Paul II sur le Pâquier

© Dauphiné Libéré photo archives / Pope Jean-Paul II on the Pâquier

As a gift, Jean-Paul II received an authentic Savoie cake and volume one of the letters from Sainte-Jeanne de Chantal (who co-founded, with François de Sales, Visitation Basilica), and a 37th bell was specially made at the Paccard bell foundry as a wonderful addition to the basilica’s bell tower. During the ceremony, he used François de Sales’ chalice, spoke of the saint’s humanism, and paid homage to the spiritual wisdom of Jeanne de Chantal.

The mystery behind Angon Waterfall’s sulfur hot springs

Ancient Gallo-Roman thermal baths located within the township of Menthon-Saint-Bernard were discovered and registered as a National Historical Monument.

The ruins of the thermal baths are located on private property, and, as such, are closed to the general public. They are part of a larger 900m² complex that includes over thirty rooms. To the south, part of the complex received water from conduits that have long disappeared, and to the north, another part of the complex includes what was probably the caldarium (hot-water baths). To the west are what appear to be remnants of a circular-shaped pool, and the water collection basin forms a multi-sided room with marble walls.

Active from the 1st through the 4th centuries, legend has it that these thermal baths received water from a sulfur hot spring that has yet to be found…

La cascade d'Angon

© Gilles Piel / Waterfall of Angon

Copyright :

  • © Teo Jaffre

Journalists : Aude Pollet-Thiollier & Gaëlle Tagliabue