The Coat of Arms of the Fraret Family
Manoir de La Tour
The hamlet of La Tour takes its name from the tower (La Tour) that was built as a reconnaisance position to observe what was, until 1860, the French border. Until 1860, Saint-Genix-Sur-Guiers had been a border town in the Duchy of Savoy. La Tour itself is on the Chemin de Compostelle, or in English, 'The Way of St. James', a centuries old pilgramage route that concludes in Santiago. To this day, pilgrims still walk past La Tour and it is most likely that one of their antecedents was responsible for throwing away a fig, resulting in the now mature fig tree that shades the route by La Tour.
No one is sure exactly when the tower was constructed, but the nearby church of St.Didier bears many architectural similarities and was built in the 13th century. Like the church, it is possible that the tower recycled older Roman materials such as the quoin stones. It is likely that the house was added at a later date, probably in the 16th century.
As well as being a military building the house has also been a farm and a vineyard and also has a bread oven which was originally used to make bread for the village. We understand from the previous owners that the house had been in their family for over 100 years. Prior to this, La Tour was also the seat of the Fraret family with at least two generations serving the Duke of Savoy as Capitain and Chatelain of Saint Genix. However in 1726, it was also a member of this family, Antoine Fraret the owner of La Tour, who was at the centre of a scandalous romance which ended in a trial the details of which can still be found in the Savoie Archives.