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Genevois (Traditional province, Savoy, France)

Last modified: 2021-06-17 by ivan sache
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Flag of Genevois - Image by ND, 6 January 2004

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History of Genevois

The traditional province of Genevois is the former feudal domain of the Counts of Geneva, now divided between Switzerland (the town of Geneva and the surrounding municipalities that consitute the Canton of Geneva) and France (the French Genevois, limited by Lake Léman, the river Rhône and the massif of Bornes).

In the 9th century, the Counts of Geneva challenged the power of the Humbertian Counts of Savoy. Humbert I of Savoy supported the German Emperor, whereas Count of Geneva Gerold opposed to him. The Counts of Geneva had for vassals the lords of Faucigny. In the 12th century, the Counts of Geneva, forced to recognize the rule of the Bishop of Geneva on the town, withdrew to Annecy. The lineage of Genevois ended in 1394 when Robert, the last of the five sons of Count Amadeus III, died.

Count of Savoy Amadeus VIII bought in 1401 from Odon de Villars the rights on Genevois, which was incorporated to Savoy. In 1401, the Count made of Genevois an appanage on the French model, granted, together with Faucigny, to his son Philip. Ten years later, Philip died without a heir and Genevois was reincorporated to the Duchy.
The second appanage of Genevois was granted to Janus (1460-1491). The prince organized an autonomous state, establishing a Court in Annecy, as well as a Private Council, a Resident Council, and a Chamber of Accounting.
The third apanage of Genevois was granted in 1514 by Charles III to his son Philip. In 1528, the Count of Genevois was granted the Duchy of Nemours by the King of France. De facto independent from Savoy, Genevois was not involved in the wars of the time, maintaining its independence and its ruling court, the Council of Genevois, during the French occupation (1536-1559). The Counts of Genevois spent most of their time at the Court of France and often struggled with the Dukes of Savoy.
In 1659, Jeanne-Baptiste de Savoie-Nemours married duke Charles-Emmanuel II, which resulted in the eventual incorporation of Genevois to Savoy.

Ivan Sache, 6 January 2004

Flag of Genevois

A seal of the Count of Geneva, kept in the Departmental Archives of Haute-Savoie, shows a checkered seal made of nine pieces. The apanagist counts used a similar shield, checkered of nine pieces or and azure.
The modern banner of Genevois follows the same pattern, the pieces being rectangular when the flag is made in porportion 2:3.
The pieces of the banner of arms of Genevois are used in the municipal flag of Avully, while a few other municipal flags in the Canton of Geneva are mostly yellow and blue.

Ivan Sache, 6 January 2004