Nernier is a French commune located in the department of Haute-Savoie, in region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. It is part of Chablais and the cross-border agglomeration of Greater Geneva. A pretty medieval village in Bas-Chablais, stretches along the long Léman, a few kilometers from the Swiss border. Its renowned port has welcomed fishermen and boaters for more than two centuries, contributing to the attractive reputation of a town where life is good.
Mixing nationalities and languages in a real melting pot of nearly 500 inhabitants, Nernier nevertheless preserves its architectural character. Museum, potter, gallery, old culture, restaurants and bistros gathered here all year round. The town also faces the challenges of the region, which sees a demography accelerate year after year. A new phase in its development is underway, with the upcoming creation of tourist accommodation and accommodation. A new PLU was adopted in April 2013 with the aim of promoting new orientations, based on the principles of sustainable development.
On the site of Nernier, there was a prehistoric lakeside town, which became a village in Roman times. Vines and wheat were then cultivated there. In the Middle Ages, the town was besieged and then taken by Bernese troops. It was in the 18th century that the town’s bell tower was built. The port saw the light of day at the end of the 19th century, under Napoleon III.
Since the middle ages, the village has lived on an important activity of tanning skins, fishing and smuggling activity with Switzerland. The town is a very romantic place, with molasses and quicklime houses, hollyhocks and climbing vines. Some arched houses open directly onto the lake.
Castle responsibility of Gex lords until the latter sell it to Savoy, during the XIII century. Part of the castle returned, in 1302, to the noble family of Nernier, then completely in 1343. In 1428, Girard, co-Lord of Nernier, tested in favor of the Duke of Savoy. The latter sells half of the fied, in 1432, to the Lord of Neuvecelle, and gives the castle and jurisdiction the following year to Nicod de Menthon. When the Lord of Menthon died, the castle returned to the ducal domain.
During the occupation of the northern part of the Duchy of Savoy by the Bernese in the XVI century, the castle and the town are taken. The seigneury is again shared. The Neuvecelle family kept half of the seigneury, while the ducal part was given to François de Saint-Jeoire, known as Antioch.
The seigneury belongs to different families, the Fornier, the Chissé, the Costa de Beauregard, etc.. The castle belongs to the family of Brotty by marriage of Percevaude de Saint-Jeoire, known as of Antioch with Charles de Brotty. In 1895, the castle was still within this family, whose representative is Count Adhémar de Brotty d’Antioche.
From 1451-1517, Nernier was the center of a chatellenie. In the county of Savoy and the region, the lord is an “[officer], appointed for a definite period, revocable and removable”. He is in charge of the management of the châtellenie or mandement, he collects the tax revenues of the domain, and he takes care of the maintenance of the castle.
In the 18th century, the Duke of Savoy built the bell tower of the town, and at the end of the 19th century.
During the debates on the future of the Duchy of Savoy in 1860, the population was sensitive to the idea of a union of the northern part of the Duchy with Switzerland. A petition is circulating in this part of the country (Chablais, Faucigny, Nord du Genevois) and brings together more than 13,651 signatures, including 30 for the parish. The duchy is reunited with France following a plebiscite organized on 22 andApril 23, 1860where 99.8% of Savoyards answer “yes” to the question “Does Savoy want to be reunited with France? “.
Napoleon III built the port. The marina can accommodate 250 boats including the Calypso, a 1911 sailboat belonging to the Amerami association and listed as a historic monument in 1991. La Licorne offers pleasant walks on the lake.
A romantic path links the entrance to the village to the port and the castle. Dotted with frescoes and poems included in the stone, it pays tribute to the major romantic authors of the 19th century and in particular Lamartine, Shelley and Byron whose passage marked the collective memory. Mary Shelley, inspired by the lake, wrote a few pages of her famous novel Frankenstein during a stay in Nernier. In the 1950s, enlightened amateurs developed Nernier, “Village of Painters”, with Enrico Vegetti, a Piedmontese painter living for nearly 50 years in Nernier, whose charms he painted.
The town continues this tradition with the Lake Museum and its painting school, the potter, M Boutique and numerous exhibitions at the Antioch Farm, heritage saved by the town. Concerts in the streets enliven the beautiful summer evenings. And, for foodies, restaurants and bars line the streets of the village.
The Compagnie générale de navigation sur le lac Léman offers links with the other ports of French Chablais and the ports on the Swiss shore.
Château de Nernier, on the edge of the lake. Possession of the lords of Gex, before moving to the Savoy XIII century.
Saint-Martin Church. It is found referred to XIII century in a bubble Pope Innocent IV (1250) in which the ward is under the authority of the Abbey Filly. However, it is estimated that it may be older. Reconstruction, by the lake, in 1840;
Chapel of Notre-Dame-du-Lac (1850);
Chapel of Brotty d’Antioche (built between 450-1550).
The town has houses of molasses and quicklime, with hollyhocks and climbing vines.
The arched houses open directly onto the lake.
The marina can accommodate 250 boats including the Calypso, a 1911 sailboat, belonging to the Amerami association and listed as a historic monument in 1991.
The romantic path connects the entrance to the village, the port and the castle. It pays homage to the artists who stayed in the town by being punctuated with frescoes and poems included in the stone.
Culture and art
Nernier has been developing a cultural lifestyle since the 19th century. The Romantic Paths, which trace a route through the village adorned with quotes from authors, bear witness to this local cultural richness. A plaque recalls that Lamartine took refuge in this beautiful fishing village during the hundred days. On the pictorial level, Nernier welcomed renowned artists, such as Enrico Vegetti and Ellis Zbinden. Works by these artists can be seen at the town hall and on the walls of some restaurants.
During the beautiful summer evenings, several outdoor concerts are also organized by traders or associations. It is a magical moment, in the heart of summer, that should not be missed under any circumstances.
All summer long, the Musée du Lac offers exhibitions by high-quality regional painters, spotted and exhibited thanks to Colette Pacquelet. Installed in the old fruit farm, it welcomes you in the center of the village on weekends in June and from Thursday to Monday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in July and August. A painting school operates at the museum from October.
The Potter’s gallery is open in July-August from Thursday to Monday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.. Jacques Marchand, will talk to you with passion about his works on display. They are made in his workshop, in Bons en Chablais, where he has been creating beautiful pieces for many years.
Born from the collaboration of Marie Déco and Smob Meubles, M Boutique Place du Musée opens its doors to you in the afternoon in all seasons. As you wander through the streets of the village, come and discover their creations.
Finally, the Ferme d’Antioche is developing an exhibition center where several exhibitions of sculptures and paintings take place from June 21 to August 31.
On the visual side, Nernier is the site of the outdoor short film festival, organized at the initiative of an association of enthusiasts, SHORT.