Vichy, the verdant lungs of the Auvergne
Vichy, the "queen of spa towns", is above all sublimed by its art deco heritage and its timeless and international character...
From the 17th century through to the 19th, it was very much the favoured resort for major personalities of the times. Today many celebrities enjoy its numerous attractions! Notably sports personalities who are particularly seduced by the sports facilities of Vichy. All these prestigious visitors have contributed to its past and present renown. Adopt the Vichyssois way of life!
Art Deco architecture, characterized by its pureness of forms, has made its indelible mark on Vichy (new geometric trends appear in the architecture, the decorative work and doors). To discover this aspect of the town, don't miss the fascinating guided tour by the Tourist Office which includes the Saint-Blaise-Notre-Dame-des-Malades, one of the first churches in reinforced concrete, built in 1925 and designed by Chanet and Liogier, today classified as an Historic Building. On top of the exterior cupola is a magnificent black Virgin, as protector of the town, and inside paintings, mosaics, iron work and stain glass windows are equally beautiful. Also designed by Chanet and Liogier is the Petit Casino, built in 1926, today serving as the Valéry-Larbaud Cultural Centre, equally classified Historic Monument, in which one can admire the staircase adorned with stain glass by the master glass-blower Francis Chigot. The tryptic, dated 1929, illustrating in very modern tones Colombine and Arlequin, L'Orchestre and La Tragédie is sublime. During your visit you will discover some of the finest historic buildings in Vichy: the Balmoral, the Plaza, the Amirauté, the Célestins College, a former hotel and majestic building in the shape of a ship’s hull. The lifestyle of this Art Deco period is very much alive in Vichy thanks to these remarkable monuments which harmonize perfectly with the other different eras, namely the Second Empire, Art Nouveau, Modern Style .…The aura of Vichy radiates throughout the world. Everyone has heard of its luxury hotels, its bourgeois villas, casino, Parc des Sources and of course its famous thermal spa establishment. The cure concept within the Thermes de Vichy, embracing heritage and modernity, incorporates technological and scientific progress, and has always been an integral part of Vichy life.
Since 1853, the Compagnie de Vichy has managed the thermal resort and contributed in promoting the tourist and cultural aspects of the town by sponsoring numerous infrastructures such as the opera house, parks and golf course. As of the 1880s, hydrotherapeutic techniques enhanced the thermal industry enabling the service, aided by the medical society of Vichy, to elaborate an apparatus dedicated to “taking the waters”. In 1896, the famous “Original” Four-handed Vichy Shower was invented, and gave birth to the much-awaited savoir-faire and renown of the Compagnie de Vichy. Since then, hydro-therapeutic treatments, nutrition and sport, ingenuously combined, have placed Vichy at the fore in Thermal Spas. At the beginning of the 1990s, Vichy improved its thermal facilities with the building of the Thermes des Dômes, located between two “minarets”, of traditional character, and the highly contemporary Vichy Spa Hotel Les Célestins, which affords a modern note. Built on its rich past experience, thermal medicine in Vichy was able to respond to today’s demands and those of the future. Four centuries of history and many awards - including
the label Spa-A awarded in August 2013, and third best “Spa Destination” in Europe at the World Spa Awards - encourage us to offer the best.
Madame de Sévigné wrote: "nobody has found themselves better in Vichy than me", when in 1676 ans 1677, she took two cures in Vichy. Numerous were the aristocrats, politicians, artists who made their mark on the history of this town and participated actively in its renown :
With force and vitality, Vichy welcomes high level sports persons, teams, professionals, international players of football, basket ball, the American swimming team, the Russian Olympic synchronized swimming team, the French fencing team, and many others! Unique in Europe, covering a space of 120 hectares on the edge of the Allier Lake, the multi-sport centre offers state-of-the-art dream infrastructures – a 100 hectare lake, an ultramodern aquatic stadium, two 18-hole golf courses, including the highly renowned Sporting Club de Vichy, opened on Ist May 1908, that welcomes players from all over the world, such as the Queen of Yugoslavia, Aga Khan, the Emperor of Annam – just metres from the centre of Vichy. Without a doubt, Vichy is the place for all your sporting feats!