February 12, 2017
2949 FRANCE (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) - Yvoire
Since ancient times, the upper valley of the Rhône and Lake Geneva (Lake Leman, in french) have formed a route through the Alps between Italy and France; the lake itself, with its varying winds, facilitates the transport of goods which are carried on lateen-rigged boats. Located at the tip of the Leman peninsula, Yvoire delimits the two main parts of the lake, the "petit lac" and the "grand lac". Its strategic position, didn't 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 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.
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 19th century. 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.
About the stamp
The stamp is part of the definitive series issued on July 16, 2014, about which I wrote here.
Yvoire - Office de Tourisme official website
Sender: Jean Yves Gerlat
Sent from Rochefourchat (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes / France), on 06.02.2017
Photo: J. P. Fecci