Heritage and history of thonon les bains

5000 years of the lakeside city in the marina

The remains of the Bronze Age (stilts still visible and pottery in the museum of Chablais) leads it to believe that the name of Thonon (by its etymology “the city on water”) must go back much further than the first written mention of “villa donona” time of the Roman occupation.

Archaeological excavations in the Ursulines neighborhood allowed to update eight pottery kilns, many objects and urban development brands, which témopignent the economic boom of Thonon in the Gallo-Roman era.


Once upon a time Ripaille

Ripaille’s castle, ideally situated on Lake Geneva, was built in the XVth century by Amédée VIII.
Ripaille was also a monastery during the XVIth and XVIIIth centuries. Partially destroyed during the French Revolution, the site was restored in 1892 by a rich industrialist and art lover, Frédéric Engel-Gros.

The guided tour of Ripaille takes the visitor to the time of the Counts of Savoie in 1350, to the reign of Amédée VIII, from the period of the Carthusian monks to the French Revolution.

This wide ranging historical epic ends with the architectural adventure of the 1900 Restoration, the dream of a great industrialist of Alsace who transformed Ripaille into a work of « art total », meaning an architectural unity from the shell of the building to the tiniest detail.

Beyond history, visiting Ripaille is to discover a preserved natural heritage, as well as an extraordinary area and beautiful gardens between the Dent d’Oche and Lake Geneva.