What to do in summer > Sports and leisure > The Educational Trails > Heritage Trails > Historical Path in Vissoie > Post 11. Gillet House

Post 11. Gillet House

The Gillet house was part of the houses that the bishop put in hands of the feudal lords of Anniviers. It is part of the history of the fortified town, the castrum, of which the tower was the dungeon.

   Map of Vissoie

A deed dated may 21, 1235 already referred to the Gillet House formerly called “ Juillet “, corresponding to the middle part of the current building. In 1758, Georges Gillet of Vissoie, an officer in the service of Spain, who had married the Duchess Maria-Elena di Mentina Tarragona, built the western part with the round tower, topped by a halberd. Currently, the middle part belongs to the descendants of Jean Gillet, son of Ferdinand, founder of the “Clefs d’Or International” (Golden Keys).

Several members of the Gillet family held political or clerical responsibilities. Amongst the personalities retained by history : Pierre Gillet, founder of the school of Zinal in 1600; Etienne, lieutenant in 1759; Benoit, juror in 1805 and his son Georges ( 1792-1866 ), President of Ayer; Louis, prosecutor in 1804; Jean-Benoît, juror and counsel of Ayer in 1806, and finally Thomas Gillet ( 1778-1847 ), the Vissoie priest from 1807 to 1814. It was he who was the initiator of the construction of the present church. Ferdinand Gillet (1895-1975), a descendant of Georges after completing school, took on the laborious activities required of mountain peasantry with his family.

In 1918, he went to England, starting to work there in modest jobs. He began a successful career, moving up the professional ladder by force of will and perseverance. Later he went to Evian and finally to Paris. In 1925 he obtained the rank of Chief Concierge. It was in 1928, with a few friends, that he began to work in the organisational aspects of his profession and founded the French section of the Golden Keys ( Clefs d‘Or ), the “ Union européenne des portiers des grands hôtels “. He later became President of the Union Internationale des “ Clefs d’Or “. From the beginning, Vissoie was the seat of the Ferdinand Gillet Foundation “International Concierge Institute ”.


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Continue along the lane to the house on the corner to your right.