Its History

In the spring of 2012, we shall celebrate the 20 th anniversary of the demolition of our old restaurant and the installation of the new one in our old family home. This will be a most unusual event, namely the suppression of a very profitable commercial establishment for the benefit of one single goal,: namely to show off the historical heritage of our village to its best advantage An unbelievable financial ordeal for attaining a single goal, to reveal the historical heritage of our village to its best advantage. A long-lived and enormous financial sacrifice over a period of 20 years that has transformed the appearance of the village! Just for leaving our mark…

September 1991. In less than six months an exceptional building site comprising local enterprises was set up in record time under the coordination of Pierre Lazzarini. It was a huge wager to take. All the old constructions had to be taken down, buried in the ground under the terrace and the garden, creating the infrastructure necessary for the restaurant. The ancient and venerable walls had to go in order to make room for the « new » dining rooms. It was inconceivable to get rid of an eyesore and create another or to build something mediocre. Everything had to be sacrificed to that goal. Everything had to be sacrificed to the primary goal, that is, to show to advantage the ancient ramparts of Yvoire. Therefore, no question of creating any supplementary apertures. On the contrary, and the work we were most proud of was reducing the majority of those windows created less than a century ago. The total surface of the openings made or restored during the renovation, for the whole of the building, is much less than it was previously.

Six months is very short for completing a building site of that size. We had to go into the old house by the ground floor, knocking down two walls that allowed us to recuperate their stones, the door surrounds in molasses and even the chalk dust in order to put everything back together using the old techniques. If the materials used were not all from the original house, they were of the same period. The site made a sort of angle in the rampart and it was possible, from the interior, to look out over the lake to the east and also along its southern shore. The width of the rampart, constructed in 1306 and 1310 is most impressive; two metres on the ground floor and almost three metres in the cellar.

The access to the tower, demolished last century, was higher than the door of Rovorée and is visible inside the house at the height of a loophole on the top floor. It is worth noticing particularly the floors of the two rooms in the restaurant as they are made of recuperated tiles (15th century for the oldest ones). The monumental beams date from the14th – 17th centuries and the stone staircase leading to the first floor is from the XVI century. The chimney place in the upper dining room was discovered walled up in the house and had not been in use for more than two centuries. The massive proportions of the ramparts’ foundations and the beauty of the ancient cellar walls are stunning. You are in a house that is 700 years old…

Jean-Claude Fert

La Vieille Porte - 2 Place de la Mairie - 74140 - Yvoire