10 largest cities in France




Chambéry is a French commune located in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. Located in the Northern Prealps between the Bauges and Chartreuse massifs, at the confluence of the Leysse and Albanne then Hyères, the city is the current prefecture of Savoy, as well as the seat of a court of appeal and an archdiocese. With a municipal population of 59,490 inhabitants in 2014, Chambéry ranks 91st nationally.

The city is nicknamed the “City of the Dukes” because acquired by the House of Savoy in 1232, it became the political capital of the Counts of Savoy in 1295 when the castle was purchased and the official establishment of the Resident Council1, then Duchy of Savoy from 1416 until its transfer to Turin in 1562. Chambéry nevertheless remains the historic capital of the States of Savoy. Thanks to the mastery of the great alpine passes and the road to Italy, which earned them the nickname of Portiers des Alpes, the counts, then dukes of Savoy, who became kings of Sardinia in 1718, exercised a certain influence in Europe, in particular by establishing a veritable laboratory of “enlightened absolutism”. From 1792 to 1815 and since 1860, the city is part of France.

Marked by late industrialization, the city's economy has long relied on the presence of administrations and the army. Its historic center was partially destroyed during the bombings of May 1944. Since its merger with two rural municipalities and the creation of new districts and industrial zones in the 1950s and 1960s, Chambéry has experienced strong demographic growth. The presence of the Savoie-Mont-Blanc University, established in 1979, also brought Chambéry a large university population.



Château de Chambéry

The castle of the Dukes of Savoy or Château de Chambéry is an old fortified castle, from the eleventh century, which stands in the town of Chambéry in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. Modified several times since the thirteenth century, it has retained since that date an administrative vocation. From 1502 to 1578, the chapel of the castle housed the Shroud. In its bell tower, is currently installed a large carillon called "Saint-François de Sales" composed of 70 bells, the work of the Paccard foundry in SévrierNote 1. A concert takes place the first and third Saturday of each month at 5.30 pm.

The castle now houses the services of the Prefecture of Savoy, the departmental council of Savoy and the Académie de Savoie. In terms of historical monuments: the former castle of the Dukes of Savoy is classified by decree of August 10, 1881, the large living room decorated with Louis XVI decor is classified by decree of April 20, 1960.


Fontaine des Éléphants/ Elephant fountain

The fountain of the Elephants, historically called the Column of Boigne and today more simply called "the Elephants" or nicknamed "the four without asses", is a fountain located in the town of Chambéry, in the French department of Savoie in the region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. Erected in 1838 in honor of General-Count de Boigne, the fountain is today one of the city's most famous monuments. It has been classified as a historical monument since May 7, 1982.


Historic center - 15th century
Museum of Fine Arts - Savoy museum (local history), Charmettes museum (dedicated to Jean-Jacques Rousseau).
Jean-Jacques Rousseau Carré Curial Media Library, BP 40208, 73002 Chambéry Cedex - Accessible, without assistance, to people with reduced mobility, the building, designed by architect Aurelio Galfetti, has long represented a technical feat with its glass and curved facade. Attached to the Carré Curial and the Espace Malraux, it is a center of culture and heritage which preserves a very rich collection of old books.
Several contemporary buildings (Espace Malraux, Médiathèque, Le Manège, Cité des Arts).
Les Charmettes (Maison de Jean-Jacques Rousseau) 890 Chemin des Charmettes (Line 26), +334 79 33 39 44 10 am-6pm. Free entry. - Jean-Jacques Rousseau stays in the valley of Charmettes with Madame de Warens between 1736 and 1742. He describes this place in books V and VI of the Confessions and in the tenth of Rêveries du promenade solitaire.


Getting in

By plane
Chambéry has an airport (Bourget-du-Lac) with regular connections. Lyon Saint-Exupéry International Airport is less than an hour's drive away. TGV or direct bus between Lyon airport and Chambéry bus station. Grenoble-Isère airport is one hour away.

Chambéry - Savoie Airport (IATA: CMF) Viviers-du-Lac, Logo indicating a telephone number +33 4 79 54 49 54, fax: +33 4 79 54 49 50, email: accueil@chambery-airport.com

By train
Chambéry is directly connected by TGV to Paris (3 hours) and by regional trains with all the main cities in the region.

Chambéry station - Challes-les-Eaux Place de la Gare 73010 Chambéry

By car
Chambéry is linked by motorway to

Lyon via A43 to the west
Grenoble via A41 to the south
Aix-les-Bains, Annecy and Geneva via A41 north
Turin in Italy via A43 and the Fréjus tunnel to the east


Around the city

By bus
STAC urban bus network

By bike
Bike rental at the Vélostation (at the SNCF station)