Le vieil Annecy ("Old Annecy"; not to be confused with Annecy-le-Vieux, formerly a neighboring town but now merged into Annecy), was a settlement from the time of the Romans. Annecy was the court of the counts of Geneva or Genevois from the 10th century. It passed to the counts of Savoy in 1401. In 1444, it became the regional capital of the provinces of Genevois, Faucigny and Beaufortain.
With the advance of Calvinism, Annecy became a centre for the Counter-Reformation, the old Bishopric of Geneva being transferred to it in 1535. Francis of Sales was born in Sales, France in 1567 and served as bishop of Annecy from 1602 to 1622; his relics are preserved in the cathedral. During the French Revolution, the Savoy region was conquered by France. Annecy became attached to the department of Mont Blanc, whose capital was Chambéry. The Catholic diocese was suppressed in 1801.
After the Bourbon Restoration in 1815, Annecy was returned to the King of Sardinia and the Catholic diocese restored in 1822. When Savoy was annexed to France in 1860 with the Treaty of Turin, it became the capital of the new department of Haute-Savoie. Annecy was the site of the second round of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) talks in 1949. In 2012, a multiple murder occurred in the Annecy area.