Bellecombe Tower, locally known as Tour de Bellecombe, lies east of the village of L'Eculaz, in the Haute-Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region in France.
Bellecombe Tower is the only remnant of Bellecombe Castle built up and around a rock on the southern bank of the Arve river. It was probably built somewhere during the 12th century.
In 1250 the powerful regional Lords of Faucigny owned both sides of the Arve river. They built and repaired several fortifications to protect themselves against neighboring Geneva. They also owned Bellecombe Castle. In the late 14th century they left the castle to the descendants of a Rodolphe de Thoire. The Thoire family was a younger branch of the Faucigny family.
In the 15th century Bellecombe Castle also guarded a crossing over the river Arve and served as a toll station.
In 1591 Bellecombe Castle was destroyed by troops from Geneva aided by the French King Henry IV. In 1733, Joseph de Thoire, Lord of Bellecombe, was still living the dilapidated castle adjoining the ruined tower. His family owned the castle until the French Revolution (1789–99). After that it passed from hand to hand without anyone being able to restore it.
The castle itself has disappeared but the ruined tower still remains. From the top of the tower one could see the city of Geneva. The square tower, 6 x 6 meters, rises up some 19 meters from its base. Entrance to the tower was on third floor level.
At present the site of Bellecombe Tower is freely accessible although you will have to climb a steep rock path with the use of a rope. The tower itself is inaccessible. A great ruin!