Yvoire Things to Do Tips by Dabs Top 5 Page for this destination
Yvoire Things to Do: 18 reviews and 51 photos
I didn't realize that the Castle wasn't open for visitors but it didn't matter, by that time I had already visited the castles at Chillon and Gruyeres in Switzerland and I wasn't really interested in visiting another.
The castle garden, the Garden of the Five Senses (Jardin des Cinq Sens) is open however, we decided not to visit but you can see all the pertinent information on the attached website.
The Castle dates back to the 14th century, was set on fire and sat roofless for a few hundred years. The Bouvier family has owned the Chateau since the 17th century and has not opened it to the public but they did transform the former vegetable garden into the Garden of Five Senses back in the 1980s, based on the enclosed gardens that existed in medieval times (thanks to BwanaBrown for that information).
To get a nice photograph of the exterior of the Chateau, go down to the lakefront and walk out on the dock. The walk down to the lakefront is a little steep but the view is definitely worth it!
The Church of St. Pancras likely dates from the 11th century but has renovated over the years, the current steeple dates from 1854. I always think of Russian Orthodox churches when I see onion domes but the tourism website says that it also typical of "Savoyard and Piemontese religious architecture of the late nineteeth century".
The onion dome was originally tin but is now stainless steel and gold leaf, another website I found said that the former mayor of Yvoire, who gifted the architect with fresh fera (a silver bellied fish) requested "Yvoire's steeple should be the same colour as the fish's belly; it should reflect the rays of the sun and be visible from any point on the lake".
Even though I had never heard of Yvoire, I think everyone in France knows about it. The tiny little town was jammed with tourists! It probably didn't help that it was August, the time when many French people are on holiday.
There's not much in terms of places to visit besides the Garden of the Five Senses (Jardin des Cinq Sens), the Castle is not open to visitors, so our visit here was spent strolling the cobblestone streets of this medieval village which is crammed with not only tourists but all of the things you typically find in a tourist destination-shops selling food, crafts and souvenirs and lots of places to eat and drink.
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