The Annecy churches are beautiful Catholic sanctuaries found in the old town. In the 1530s, the events of the Reformation propelled Annecy to centre stage in the Catholic lands of the Duchy of Savoy. The bishop of Geneva was evicted from the Swiss city which had adhered to the ideals of Calvin. He took refuge in the nearby town of Annecy. As the new seat of the diocese of Geneva, Annecy became a strategic centre of the Counter Reformation, particularly with the leadership of St François de Sales. This resulted in the building or maintenance of many churches and religious orders.