A family home for ten centuries
It remains one of the rare castles in France to belong to the same family for 23 known generations.
From Saint Bernard de Menthon (10th century), patron saint of the inhabitants of the Alps, to René de Menthon or François de Menthon, Companion of the Liberation and French Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Military Tribunal, come and discover the history of this family.
The architectural evolution of the castle
At the origin of the castle in the 12th century, there were only 3 high square towers linked by ramparts and sheltering a large courtyard where the villagers found refuge during troubled times.
During the Renaissance, the austere fortress was transformed into a place of residence. Then, at the end of the 18th century, a facade was built, opening a view of the lake. Then, at the end of the 19th century, under the impetus of the great-grandfather of the current owners, René de Menthon, the castle began its great metamorphosis towards that romantic subtlety which makes its charm and even its mystery... So much so that a certain Walt Disney, on vacation in the region, was inspired by it for the castle of Sleeping Beauty!
Built on a rocky spur, the castle of Menthon is the result of a long history which began at the end of the 12th century. Originally, there were three high square towers: the tower of the lake which overlooks the lake, the village and the Annecy-Faverges road; the keep which looks towards the Aravis valley; the tower of arms which watches over the Bluffy pass and the Dents de Lanfon. Connected by the covered ways, they sheltered a large courtyard where the villagers found refuge during the troubled times.
In 1820, Balthazar de Menthon reorganized the surroundings of the castle. A farmhouse was built within the grounds of the estate. Then, the pleasure grounds were created with an orangery, not gardens. As for the interiors, the most symbolic development remains the traditional room of Saint Bernard, transformed into an oratory in a neo-gothic style. At the request of the owner, this room became a place of worship, a tribute to the family saint.
An artist at heart, a poet and a dreamer, the man was not only a contemporary of Viollet-le-Duc, he was also totally committed to the cause of the famous architect who restored several ensembles from the medieval period. He therefore undertook major renovation work and decided to add several slender, slender turrets to the building. He was the one who gave the final touch to the painting: the Château de Menthon acquired a new face, imbued with the romantic subtlety that makes up its charm, even its mystery...
So much so that a certain Walt Disney, on vacation in the region, was inspired by it for another equally photogenic castle, that of Sleeping Beauty!
Well hidden from view behind their high and massive walls, the interior rooms have changed very little since. They are a precious testimony of what life was like in a Savoyard fortress that was gradually transformed into a rich seigneurial residence.
Our motto - perhaps a bit pretentious - was a rallying cry. We must once again interpret it as a standard for our time.
On its rock, in the family for a thousand years, the Château de Menthon has been open to visitors for more than a century. This legacy of our elders, but also the biodynamic vineyard and permaculture are part of a renewed social responsibility that draws its energy from our roots.
It is up to us to pass on, make this historical heritage live and share it with others, which has become the Domaine de Menthon.
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Plan your visit in the schedule of the Castle.
Access for people with reduced mobility :
Due to the number of steps and staircases along the circuit, the castle is not accessible to people with reduced mobility.