in Sallanches

Château des Rubins – Observatoire des Alpes

After two years of pharaonic work, the Château des Rubins becomes the Observatory of the Alps. All year round, it offers a modern, fun and interactive exhibition on the theme of the mountain with a capital M.
Go on an exploration through light and sound atmospheres to discover the many facets of life in the mountains!

The Château des Rubins – Observatoire des Alpes opens its doors to a new scenography made up of around fifty interactive modules spread over four floors:
1) geology and glaciology
2) fauna and flora
3) The history of man in the mountains
4) Changes in the climate

The new course is intended for the curious and for a family audience. It covers more than 500m2 for a visit duration of approximately two hours. The information is light, but precise.

The Château des Rubins – Observatoire des Alpes also offers a wide range of activities and workshops for families. It comes in three ways:
1) The “Rubinoscopes”: these animations are demonstrations or experiments designed in the form of short 15/20 minute tablets on the scenographic route. They do not require a reservation and are offered at no additional cost to the admission price.
2) “In the castle lab”: in a longer format: 1 to 2 hours, these workshops give pride of place to experimentation, thus allowing you to deepen certain themes. They are offered on Wednesdays or Sundays, by reservation, throughout the year at the price of €6 per child and €8 per adult.
3) "The observatory's meetings": all year round, the castle organizes talks with recognized specialists in the theme: historian, artist, craftsman, archaeologist... These guests have only one watchword : popularize. Dates will take place on Sunday mornings with a coffee/croissant welcome for the price of an entrance ticket to the castle (7€) at the rate of one every two months.
History, culture and heritage

Built in the XNUMXth century, it was used in the XNUMXth century as a residence for the nobles of Loche, bailiffs of Faucigny. Its massive facades are brightened up by large Renaissance mullioned windows. Its square tower is surmounted by a cob roof which rests on a battlement. Its iron-clad ogival door gives access to a beautiful spiral staircase. During the XNUMXth century, it was transformed into apartments.

Some dates :
1310: Hugues, Dauphin of Viennois and Baron of Faucigny, granted the inhabitants of Sallanches their first privileges, a sign of the town's prosperity.

1339: The parish had 15 strongholds and 20 noble families.

1563: At the end of the XNUMXth century, it belonged to the Loche family, bailiffs of Faucigny.

1754th century: it belonged to the de Chasseys who sold it in XNUMX to the chapter of the collegiate church of Sallanches.

1730: The Château des Rubins belonged to Etienne de Choulay

1747: The ecclesiastical institution (Chapter of Sallanches) acquired the castle from Philibert de Chasseys and Georgine de Menthon de Choulex.

1840: The Château des Rubins is miraculously spared from the flames of the great fire. It is also from this date that the castle bore the name of "grey cats" because three old ladies dressed in gray lived there.

1978: The castle is purchased by the City of Sallanches where the Mountain Nature Center is located until 2020. It will be modified in 1997 and will have two additional levels with a passageway which will allow the link with the old building.
Today it houses the Alps Observatory, a museum on mountains, environment, ethnology, etc.

We speak: English, French


  • Science and technology
  • Natural Sciences
  • Environmental
  • Ethnology
  • Geology
  • Natural History
  • minerals

Location details

Free parking two minutes walk from the Château: Lévaud car park.
  • Downtown
  • In the city


Average duration of the individual visit: 90 min.
Average duration of the group visit: 90 min.
Minimum group size: 10 person(s)


  • Children from 3 to 5 years old
  • Reception of summer camps
  • School groups welcome
  • Children from 6 to 12 years old
  • Young people from 13 to 17 years old
  • Cycle 3: college (6th)
  • Cycle 3: elementary school (CM1, CM2)
  • Cycle 1: nursery school (PS, MS, GS)
  • Cycle 2: elementary school (CP, CE1, CE2)
  • Cycle 4: college (5th, 4th, 3rd)
  • High school
  • Higher Education

Individual visit services

  • Unguided individual tours permanently

Group visit services

  • Unguided group tours permanently


Opening hours from April 07 to May 05, 2024
MondayOpen from 10 a.m. to 18 p.m.
TuesdayOpen from 10 a.m. to 18 p.m.
WednesdayOpen from 10 a.m. to 18 p.m.
ThursdayOpen from 10 a.m. to 18 p.m.
FridayOpen from 10 a.m. to 18 p.m.
SundayOpen from 10 a.m. to 18 p.m.
Opening hours from May 06 to July 06, 2024
WednesdayOpen from 10 a.m. to 18 p.m.
ThursdayOpen from 10 a.m. to 18 p.m.
FridayOpen from 10 a.m. to 18 p.m.
SundayOpen from 10 a.m. to 18 p.m.

Exceptional Closure(s)

  • 01/01/2024
  • 25/12/2024


Full price

7.5 €-
Reduced price

6 €-

6 €-
Big family

21 €-
Château des Rubins ambassador pass: €22 (entrance all year round)
Visit and adult workshop or lab: €8,50
Visit and workshop or school activity: €6,50
Group adults: 6,50€
Group of people with reduced mobility: €6

It is necessary to reserve for all our activities via our Patrivia online ticket office:;tracking=iSSkbMOxrzvK8JhZgCzoD8lc2eZ5tUcQ
Free for children under 5 years)

Payment methods

  • Bank / credit card
  • Cheque
  • Cash
  • Contactless payment



  • Parking nearby
  • Elevator
  • Toilets

Activities on site

  • Permanent exhibition
  • Animation

Home animals

Pets are not accepted

Adapted tourism

Adapted service: Site, fully accessible building

Linked offers

On the spot…


105 Rise of the Rubins
74700 Sallanches
How do I get there?

Was this content useful to you?