Viry has a rich and singular history.
Singular, already, because as everyone knows, Viry is in Haute-Savoie and is thus part of France only since 1860. It is also unique because in the ancient States of Savoy, Viry was originally part of the County of Genevois, which was annexed to Savoy in 1401. Singular still because Viry was separated in 1815 from the neighboring villages Soral and Sézegnin by a new border during the creation of one of the most recent Swiss cantons: that of Geneva.
Another originality of Viry lies in its very large size: 1 chief town, 12 hamlets and 26 square kilometers.
It has grouped together since the 15th and 16th centuries former parishes:
The Eluiset was home to King Henry IV of France.
Humilly still preserves a magnificent 13th century chapel and the castle of the same name.
Germagny is located on the slopes of Mount Zion and, like every ancient parish, once had a church.
Malagny picturesque hamlet, was until 1970 the seat of the administrative section of the lower commune. The cemetery formerly served this hamlet and that of Sézegnin.
Essertet means cleared place.
Besides these former parishes, Viry also has some pretty hamlets:
Veigy with, on the river Laire, the footbridge leading to the mill of Veigy today in Switzerland.
Songy once had a castle belonging to a family of the same name.
The Fort takes its name from a fortress, Fort Sainte Catherine, built in 1589 by the Duke of Savoy Charles-Emmanuel and destroyed in 1601 by Henri IV, an ally of the Genevans.
The Coast was famous for its Vignes des Pères, which once belonged to the Fathers of the Carthusian monastery of Pomier located at the foot of the Salève.
Vaux has a name coming from val because of the beautiful valley of the Laire.
Thônex or Fagotin, is surrounded by hedges in which faggots were made. In this hamlet you will admire the bridges and streams with evocative names Chantepoulet, Monplaisir…
Cortenet the smallest of them.
Viry is traced in ancient parchments and in particular through the very old de Viry family, a member of which lies in the Pantheon.
The chief town retains some interesting heritage elements:
The castle of the de Viry family was built in the 17th century.
The church, built in 1843, whose interior was recently restored, its frescoes and trompe l’oeil will seduce you, the bell tower with its characteristic look appears on the logo of the commune.
The Villa Mary was built by the Gondrand family during the belle époque.
The inhabitants of Viry , the Virois, are today more than 5000. They were only 1100 in 1960, but 1850 in 1850 at the time when, in an exclusively rural civilization, its vast territory made it possible to feed so many mouths. Our commune was the first of the canton in population, before Saint-Julien-en-Genevois, until the beginning of the XX century.