History of Old Stones
Yvoire’s strategic position, on a point between the “small lake” and the “large lake” did not escape the notice of Count Amédée V the Great, who under took important fortifications from 1306, during the war between the Dauphiné and Savoy.
For half a century, the village of Yvoire had a very important military rôle, which earned certain freedoms for its inhabitants in 1324.
Later, when the whole region was occupied by the Bernese, allies of the French and Genevese from 1536 to 1591, the village lost its ramparts and military rôle ; the castle was burnt and remained roofless for 350 years.
For a long period, Yvoire sank back into anonymity and the proud strongpoint became a village of farmers and fishermen. Important evidence of the past has been miraculously preserved : the castle, ramparts and fortified gateways, ditches and houses. These must be restored and brought to life, yet protected against the ravages of modernity so as to preserve the atmosphere.
Flowers, a real tradition...
Yvoire has known how to turn its position close to the Franco-suisse border to its advantage and from the 1950s there has been a new development of tourism and flowers.
Yvoire received its first prize in the national competition for the best kept villages in 1959 and the rewards followed over the years. Now ranked as “Four Flowers”, the village represented France in 2002 at the European level and received the International Trophy for Landscape and Horticulture.
Yvoire has been part of the [b)association of the Most Beautiful Villages of France for the last 20 years and has many visitors and admirers at the height of the season summer. However, there are also those who prefer the quieter moments when golden leaves are reflected in the calm, silvery waters or even the winter when the north-easterly wind whistles around the walls and fringes the lake shore with ice.
History of Bell Tower
The church of St Pancras probably dates from the eleventh century but has been enlarged and rebuilt several times. The present steeple dates from 1854 and follows in the tradition of onion-shaped domes which are characteristic of Savoyard and Piemontese religious architecture of the late nineteeth century.
The original covering of tin plate had rusted badly and was replaced in 1989 by stainless steel and gold leaf.