As far as the eye can see!
The Pittons Tower
This tower was erected between 1820 and 1830 at the highest point (1,389m) of Mont-Salève by Claude-François Bastian, notary and mayor of Frabgy.Before the tower was built on the cliff edge of this plateau, there was a 14th-century lookout post.The “Tour Bastian”, ravaged by time and vandalism, was bought and restored by the Beaumont municipality. Among the many walkers who come and picnic at this spot on Le Salève, the most observant won’t fail to notice two names engraved on one of the limestone rocks near the tower: Lamartine and Lord Byron. Legend has it that the names were engraved on the rock by the great poets themselves between 1815 and 1820.
The Pastures (Alpages)
Le Salève mountain is located right next to the French-Genevan conurbation, and despite its relatively small pastoral area, it upholds a lively pastoral tradition. This plays a crucial role in sustaining the site’s value over the long term with regard to the environment, the landscape and tourism, and also because of the importance of agro-pastoral practices to regional farm economies.Over the last few years, the communes that belong to the Syndicat Mixte du Salève have been working to implement local development projects based on the assets of pastoralism as a fundamental resource in maintaining the mountain’s attractiveness.This commitment can now be seen in the willingness local individuals and businesses are showing to take part in the Plan Pastoraux Territoriaux, a regional project that aims to position the local pastoral dynamic as a strong and durable aspect of the region’s identity.
Chairman of the Syndicat Mixte du Salève
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That’s right! It is indeed the castle you can see on your left from the cable car as you travel up towards the upper station.Standing by the edge of the cliff at the end of the Monnetier valley, the Ermitage castle has kept a watch over the Geneva plain for about five centuries. It is thought that this castle was built at the dawn of the 16th century by François-Prosper de Genève-Lullin. Owned by the dukes of Savoie, this fortress overlooking the plain was once seen as such a threat by the people of Geneva that they decided to launch an attack.
On August 31, 1589, Captain Guinet and his troops assailed the Ermitage castle, demolishing and setting fire to it. And so, for the next three centuries, the fortress lay in ruins. Many of the stones were, indeed, used by the villagers to build houses in Monnetier, and the castle ruins became a popular walking destination for tourists and painting amateurs. Two ancient testimonies of these ruins have survived the centuries to reach our modern age.In 1855, Mr. Bovet and Mr. de Mandrot bought the Ermitage ruins and lands. Here, on the vestiges of the feudal keep, they built a mansion flanked by turrets, which later became a hotel and boarding house with stunning views over Geneva and its lake. The Château de Monnetier’s hotel restaurant was owned first by Joseph Dupraz (who died in 1928), later by the hotel manager, Charles Porta (1897-1937). The boarding house was then taken over by Porta’s daughter, who ran the business until 1989. Charles Porta, who’d been a boxing champion in his native Chile and was well connected with the sports world, had the very first swimming pool in Le Salève built in the hotel gardens, along with tennis courts that turned into an ice-skating rink in winter.
Like another of Monnetier’s famous buildings, the Grand Hôtel Bellevue, which was taken over by squatters and destroyed by a fire in 2001, the Château de l’Ermitage came very close to destruction at the turn of the 20th century. Ransacked and invaded by squatters, it was eventually bought by a regional entrepreneur who has just completed luxury renovations on the building.
Photo : Bibliothèque de Genève
The Bouddhist center
Shedrub Choekhor Ling is a Monastery/Buddhist centre that opened its doors to the public in August 2010. It is located 20 minutes’ walk from the upper station.The temple was inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on August 12, 2011.
It is under his spiritual authority.The site offers conditional accommodation and meditation courses, and also hosts conferences.
More information :
The village on the other side of the cable car and of Mont Salève. This is the most built-up area of Le Salève. In the winter, there is even a ski centre and a button-tow run by volunteers. Life here is very different from the rest of Le Salève.
To acces :
19 minutes by car from the upper station (11 kms)
Le Syndicat Mixte du Salève
Set up in 1994, the Mont Salève joint tourist board brings together 27 areasaround Mont Salève.
These areas pool their energy to harmonise the preservation of the landscapes,heritage and nature of Mont Salève with its role as a leisure and relaxation area forthe 500 000 people who live near it.
The 5 goals of the Syndicat:
- 1 Protecting Mont Salève’s natural and cultural heritage and its landscapes
- 2 Raising awareness about the environment and sustainable development
- 3 Highlighting Mont Salève as a natural green “lung” for the local population
- 4 Ensuring the durability of pastoral agriculture on the Alpine summits
- 5 Introducing visitors to the natural and cultural heritage, particularly throughthe Maison du Salève: www.maisondusaleve.com
More informations :