Flumet’s suspended houses, with their foundations built into the actual rock, overlook the river Arly 40m below. The only example of its kind in Savoie, this architectural group of buildings is most unusual, with breathtaking, dizzying views.
It was in the 13th century that the Lords of Faucigny founded the village of Flumet.
In order to attract people to the area, they granted franchises (freedoms and privileges) to the burghers of Flumet, each of them being given an equal-sized parcel of land to build their house on.
Having created the village, they built walls around it.
On the Arly side of the village, the houses were built on the rocky spur overhanging the river by several tens of metres : it was therefore not necessary to fortify the enclosure at this point, as the geography of the place offered sufficient natural protection.
A gate marked the entrance to the village on this side and you can still see the opening today in the Rue du Mont-Blanc. It led to a path that runs down to the river Arly, enabling access to Notre-Dame-de-Bellecombe.
Since the 13th century, despite the village fire in 1679 and various other tribulations over time, the appearance of the suspended houses has changed very little (see the cadastral plans dated 1730), except for the gradual loss of shingled roofs and the appearance of modern features (satellite dishes, big windows, plain bannisters) which has toned down the traditional charm of this style of architecture.
However, the suspended houses have retained their unique style with their tangle of balconies, galleries, homes, stairways, chimneys etc. Indeed, the stone foundations that you can see probably go back to the beginnings of the village. Not forgetting their dizzying aspect which just has to be seen and which can be viewed from different points in the village (Place du Château, Pont des Abymes, Lacets des Avenières).