travel guide

Chambery travel guide

The city of Chambery is located in the centre-east of France 537 km from Paris, 661 km from Bordeaux, 345 km from Marseille, 217 miles from Turin, 114 km from Lyon and 92 km from Geneva .Its location in the natural crossroads of Europe explains its historical growth. It lies in a broad valley bounded on the east by the massive Bauges , on the south by Mount Granier and the Channel Belledonne, to the west by the chain of the southernmost mountains of the Jura and to the north by the Lake Bourget. Before the founding of the city in Roman times, vast marshes stretched at this location. Most of the city is situated on flat terrain marked by a few hills: Chambery-le-Haut, Chantemerle and Chambery-le-Vieux, Bellevue or The Mountains. The rest of the landscape is composed of medium-sized mountains.

The city was already well-known in Roman times. Between 1232 and 1562 Chambery was the capital of the country Savoy. Between 1792 and 1815, Chambery was the capital of the department of Mont Blanc. In 1860  Savoy was annexed  permanently to become part of France. During the Second World War the city was partially destroyed.  However, the castle of the dukes of Savoy which date from the 14th and 15th century and the 18th century has been restored and rebuilt. Near to the castle there is a chapel in Gothic style with a Baroque facade. The chapel was built between 1453 and 1578 . The cathedral of Chambery was built between the 15th and 16th centuries.

Chambéry The common boundaries are Barberaz Chambery, Bassens, La Motte-Servolex, Ravoire, Saint-Alban-Leysse, Cognin, Jacob-Bellecombette and Sonnaz. The city is bathed by the Leysse river which is feeding the Lake Bourget. Chambery is bisected from north to the south by a fast track urban highway the N201 or E70. It begins at the exit of the A41 from Lyon in the area and the Landiers. It extends over twelve kilometers, before joining the A43 near St. Baldoph direction Albertville, Grenoble, Turin and Bourg-Saint-Maurice. While traffic on the VRU increased steadily, it has decreased in recent years with the reopening of the Mont Blanc Tunnel and has diverted some of the traffic of the tunnel of Frejus.

The Old Town is composed of a large number of old hotels of the nobility Savoyard. At the end of the fifteenth century, the noble families had begun the demolition of old bicoques (small houses) of wood and mud and  built houses with stones which later took the name “hotel” where the householder receives his guests. The homes of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries are many, though their facades have mostly been redrawn since the eighteenth century (Lower Street, Castle Street Juiverie, St. Croix-d’Or). Very influenced by this medieval heritage, the first hotels where organized around a courtyard. The Italian Renaissance left its mark here with loggias or galleries linking the various buildings

The famous fountain of the Elephants was built in 1838 in memory of General Benoit de Boigne. This fountain is the best known monument and landmark of Chambery . The monument was inaugurated on December 10, 1838. The height of the monument is 17.65 metres and is a clever combination of three monuments: a fountain, a column and a statue. The four elephants are made from iron with water that flows from  each elephant’s trunk in a pool of octagonal shape. Above are a wide variety of trophies. The vast column is symbolized by a palm tree and on its top is the statue of the General Benoit de Boigne.  In fact, Chambery has a lot of statues, mostly erected in the late nineteenth century .