Château des Ducs de Savoie


Medieval walls, Gothic tracery, trompe l'oeil detailing…Chambéry's château has acquired a wealth of styles since its founding in the 11th century. Once home to the counts and dukes of Savoy, the stately stronghold has housed the Préfecture and Conseil Général of the Savoie département since 1860. The gardens and Cour d'Honneur (courtyard) are open free of charge; to see 14th- and 15th-century Tour Trésorerie (Treasury Tower) and stained glass inside Ste-Chapelle, built in the 15th century to house the Turin Shroud, take a tour.

Guided tours (adult/child €6/4.50) depart at 2.30pm Tuesday to Sunday from May to September, and at 2.30pm Saturday and Sunday October to April. They begin at the château's Acceuil des Guides office in July and August, and at the Old Town's Hôtel de Condon, around the corner from the cathedral, the rest of the year.

In the small exhibition, scale models, engravings and paintings present the history and architecture of the château.

The chapel's 70-bell Grand Carillon (1993), one of the largest ensembles of bells in the world, peals in concert on the first and third Saturday of each month at 5.30pm (more frequently in summer).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Chambéry attractions

1. Hôtel de Cordon

0.16 MILES

This former hôtel particulier (historic private mansion) has interactive displays on local culture on its upper floor. It's also the starting point for…

2. Musée Savoisien

0.19 MILES

Due for a grand reopening in 2020, this museum housed in a Franciscan monastery was closed to undergo a massive renovation when we passed through. When it…

3. Cathédrale St-François de Sales

0.19 MILES

All is not as it seems inside Chambéry's 15th-century Franciscan cathedral, decorated with 6000 sq metres of trompe l’œil painting. The largest such…

4. Fontaine des Éléphants

0.25 MILES

With its four carved elephants, this 17.6m-high fountain looks like the model for an old Indian postage stamp. It was sculpted in 1838 in honour of…

5. Musée des Beaux-Arts

0.26 MILES

Occupying a former corn exchange, Chambéry's grand fine-arts museum exhibits mostly 14th- to 18th-century Italian works. There's a particular emphasis on…

6. Musée des Charmettes

0.99 MILES

Geneva-born philosopher, composer and writer Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a key figure of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, lived the happiest years…

7. Temple of Diana

8.57 MILES

This 1st-century Roman temple – dedicated originally not to Diana, but probably a local Celtic god – is inside the town hall, a 16th-century château built…

8. Arc de Campanus

8.61 MILES

More than 9m high, this triumphal arch is thought to date to the late 1st-century. The Latin inscription declares glory to the Campanus family, members of…