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Panoramic view of Annecy-le-Vieux
|• Mayor (1989–2008)||Bernard Accoyer (UMP)|
|• Land1||17.02 km2 (6.57 sq mi)|
|• Population2 density||1,200/km2 (3,100/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||74011 / 74940|
|Elevation||420–1,290 m (1,380–4,230 ft)|
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
It is the fourth-largest town in Haute-Savoie in terms of population, and is located on the northeastern shore of Lake Annecy. It is essentially a residential suburb of Annecy, being less than 3 km from its centre, and is sometimes known at the "XVIe arrondissement" of Annecy.
The commune is 50% urbanised with 33 hectares of public forest, and 50% agricultural and forests.
The Fier forms most of the commune's northern border.
The shores of Lake Annecy have been occupied since at least 4000 BCE. A Gallic tribe, the Allobroges, occupied the area in pre-Roman times: the Allobroges were conquered by the Roman legions in 62 BCE. The area was then colonised by Rome, which founded the town of Boutae (later Annecy) in 50 BCE. The town was at a strategic crossroads of three Roman roads across the Alps (to Italy, to Geneva, and to Vienna), and grew rapidly to a population of several thousand. Roman villas are found in the surrounding countryside.
Annecy was attacked by invaders in the post-Roman period, but regained its importance from CE 1107.
Its population had grown to 470 inhabitants by 1756. Grape vines for producing wine have been cultivated on the surrounding hills since the Middle Ages.
Two principal industrial activities arose in the mid-19th century, the Cléchet flour mill and the Paccard Bell Foundry. One of largest bells in the world, "La Savoyarde" which hangs at the Sacré Cœur in Paris, was cast in Annecy-le-Vieux in 1891. It weighs 18,835 kg, stands 3.06 m tall, has a circumference of 9.60 m, is 22 cm thick at the base, and has a clapper weiging 850 kg.
Annecy includes a university site, attached to the Université de Savoie, with more than 4,000 students in 2003. The university offers programs in technology, commercial arts and trades, engineering, and particle physics.
Annual events include the Ancilevienne, a 46 km (29 mi) race for teams of runners and cyclists around Lake Annecy, and the Gabriel Fauré music festival.
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