The Castle of Fénis, unlike other castles built for war and protection purposes, is not located on the top of a promontory but rather on a small hill without natural defenses.
The Castle of Fénis was in fact the prestigious seat of representation of the major exponents of the Challant family.
The architecture of the Castle of Fénis is the result of buildings built in the following years: towers and crenellated walls were added in the mid-fourteenth century by Aimone of Challant to the pre-existing tower.
The castle of Fénis belonged to the lords of Challant until 1716, when it was ceded to Count Baldassarre Castellar of Saluzzo Paesana.
The events that marked the history of that family led to the
castle to a slow degradation, prelude to the abandonment that saw it transformed into a rural dwelling: the rooms on the ground floor were used as stables, while the first floor was used as a barn.
The recovery of the Castle is due to Alfredo d’Andrade, who bought it in 1895 and, after restoring the most ruined parts, donated it to the Italian State. Today the building is owned by the Autonomous Region of Valle d’Aosta.
The castle of Fénis impresses the visitor with its external appearance, but also for the frescoed interiors, such as the famous courtyard with the semicircular staircase.
Among the fifteenth-century frescoes in the courtyard stands out the one depicting St. George in the act of killing the dragon and freeing the princess. On the balcony instead you can admire some essays and philosophers who hold in their hands parchments on which you can read the mottos in ancient French.
The visit of the Castle of Fenis is only possible through guided tours of 1 hour.