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The History of Chanaz

The historical importance of Chanaz is due to its location as a passageway between Savoy and France, via the Savières Canal. This natural outlet from the Lac du Bourget to the Rhone was dug up in Roman times to become navigable. Today, the lake level is regulated by a dam. A lock, built in 1982, allows boats to pass from the canal to the Rhône.

In the 13th and 14th centuries, Chanaz was the seat of a Savoyard châtellenie, later united with Yenne and then Rochefort. The particularity of this commune is that it was French from 1601 to 1760. The Maison de Boigne dates from the 18th century, but retains some elements from the 16th century. This vast three-storey square house, with stone walls, a four-sided tiled roof and a 13th century doorway, borders the square which was laid out around 1980. It was owned by Count Muffat de Saint-Amour who acquired the seigneury of Chanaz in 1744, and belonged to the de Boigne family around 1830. It has housed the town hall since 1988.

Following the restoration of this house, the village centre has been entirely preserved as part of a programme to rehabilitate the environment, the landscape and the buildings. Some of the houses in the village still have architectural details from the 15th and 16th centuries. The 15th century Gothic chapel now houses the Gallo-Roman museum "Les Potiers de Portout".

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