Our hotel at the heart of Vichy
and a bit of French history
A jewel in the crown of Auvergne, Vichy has been blessed with fame for its thermal baths since the 2nd century. Numerous springs were sourced and tapped, and a “thermal city” rose up along the Roman road which roughly follows the present-day Rue Callou and Avenue Victoria. A “thermal institute” was already in existence on the present-day Parc des Sources.
At the start of the 17th century, a General Superintendence for Baths and Mineral Fountains was created by patent of King Henry IV of France. This saw a rebirth in Vichy’s spa days. The thermal activity, and consequently the town’s fame, thus kept on growing. Madame de Sévigné spoke of the greatness of Vichy’s waters as they allowed her to make use of her pen again. The daughters of Louis XV and the mother of Napoleon came here to use the water. Yet it wasn’t until Napoleon III that Vichy really saw a meteoric rise. The emperor discovered the town in 1861 and returned each year, becoming Vichy’s benefactor of sorts. The money rolled in, bringing with it new buildings and parks and transforming the town into the “Queen of Spa Towns”.
Between 1861 and 1866, Napoleon III used Vichy five times. At his command, urban projects transformed the town profoundly. These included containing the Allier, replacing the old swamps with English-style parks, the development of the thermal routes, the construction of the Hôtel de Ville and a casino within view of the Parc des Sources, and the building of chalets and pavilions to accommodate the Emperor and the imperial entourage.
Another great time for Vichy was the Belle Époque, which saw birth to the opera house, the Hall des Sources, the enlargement of the casino and the inauguration of the Grand Établissement Thermal. Our hotel in the heart of Vichy’s thermal quarter is your invitation to discover the hundreds and hundreds of riches in Vichy.