Royal Sarre Castle
Sarre Royal Castle
The castle stands on a promontory in Lalex, which overlooks the Aosta flatland above the national road for Mont Blanc, immediately after the junction for Cogne.
Built in 1710 on the ruins of a fortress mentioned as early as 1242, having passed through various hands, the property was purchased by the King of Italy Victor Emanuel II, who renovated it and used it during hunting expeditions in Val d’Aosta.
The royal castle of Sarre, after becoming the private property of the King, was used as his headquarters for expeditions in the valleys of Cogne, Rhêmes and Valsavarenche.
Several modifications were made to the residence, in order to welcome the first king of Italy, including raising of the tower and construction of new stables. Inside, the rooms were completely reconstructed and modernised. The curator of the Royal Palace in Milan was charged with furnishing the residence, for which he transferred furniture from other royal residences.
Victor Emmanuel’s successor, Umberto I (1844-1900) also destined the alpine castle for hunting activities.
In the final years of his reign, Umberto I took a particular interest in the Sarre residence and commissioned the renovation of its interior. At that time, works included important decorations in monumental rooms, garnished with ibex and chamois trophies.
Queen Maria José also spent her holidays in the castle, even in the years following the monarchy.
In 1989 the Val d´Aosta regional authority purchased the estate to restore it. The castle has a longitudinal body with a square tower in the centre, and is a museum of the presence of the Savoy in Valle d’Aosta.