Thonon’s 19th Century hillside railway, Constructed in 1888, ‘Le Funiculaire’ was moved by a counter-weighting system using 11 tons of water. Today, it still links the port to the town centre, but since 1990, it has been powered by electricity.
Overlooking the fishing port, the Castle of Rives dates from the Middle Ages and is listed as an historic building. It was the home of the Counts and Dukes of Savoy and became an industrial site after the Revolution.
First mentioned in 1299, it was wrecked by the Bernese in 1589 before being rebuilt in 1615 in the exact location of Saint François de Sales’ first miracle which was to resurrect a dead unbaptised child.
Thonon’s oldest church dates back to the 12th century and has been redone and restored several times. The only original feature is its crypt. The church is now one of the best examples of the Baroque style in the Haute-Savoie area!
This religious structure was completed at the beginning of the 20th century. Maurice Denis painted his last murals here and the basilica is all the more interesting for them. The Baroque St-Hippolyte church adjoins the structure.
This wash house has an oval pool with twelve individual stones which means you could kneel down and wash clothes with someone in front of you. The rinsing pool has a trough and the pool measures 8m x 3m.
A rare witness to the fortifications of the Thonon town walls, the Castle of Bellegarde, built on the edge of the ramparts, guarded the Lombards Gate and access to the town of Thonon. A local curiosity: bawdy friezes in sculpted wood.
Thonon is «Kilomètre Zero» starting point of the Route des Grandes Alpes between Thonon and Menton. By bicycle, motorcycle or car, set out to discover this 700 km long route and pass the most legendary Alpine cols. Get your control card so that you can get your diploma at the end, an unforgettable reward for your Alpine adventure!
The fishing port is an important asset for foodie tourists. A dozen professional fishermen sit in pretty huts and cast their nets and fish traps over Lake Geneva all year round and in all weather conditions.
Château de Sonnaz was built in 1666 on the ruins of Thonon’s medieval château. It belonged to the Gerbaix de Sonnaz, one of Savoie’s oldest families.
It now houses the Musée du Chablais and Thonon-les-Bains Tourist Office.