Modern Annecy is an agglomeration of 13 small municipalities producing a total population of more than 50,000. It is the capital of the Haute-Savoie department in the Rhone-Alpes region of France and is located on the northern shore of lake Annecy.
The lake is about 9 miles long and 1/2 to 2 miles across and is fed by the river Thiou that runs through the city. The Thiou, at about 2 miles in length, is one of the shortest rivers in France. The area in the vicinity of Annecy has been occupied since at least 3,100 BCE and was home to an industrious community up through the collapse of the Roman Empire, after which the population declined precipitously.
A mild resurgence occurred in the 12th century which supported the construction of the medieval fortifications but, it wasn't until the late seventeenth century, that the city really began to prosper again. This latter comeback was fueled by the industrial revolution and enabled by the hydraulic power of the river.
In 1860, after the annexation of Savoy to France, Annecy became the capital of the new department of Haute Savoie. Annecy is host to several annual and bi-annual film festivals and, for the casual explorer, offers something for everyone.
More pictures are here.