Vichy - May 20 - 26, 2007
Vichy sits on top of 4 mineral water springs that have been known since Roman times. The town became very popular in Victorian times as a place to relax and renew. Many of the existing buildings in Vichy were built during those years when Vichy was a popular vacation spot for the well-to-do.
This historic building was built to house the spring called 'Célestins.'
A spring of hot mineral water comes out of the rock and is tapped by several spigots. This woman is filling a water bottle. I brought a water bottle the next day to fill for myself. It was weird to taste this water from the tap, which was very fizzy.
The Victorians built Hotels, Casinos, an Opera house, etc. with parks and covered walkways connecting them.
This is the Opera house.
There is a park in front of it with rows of Sycamore (Platane) trees. This is how the French think these trees should be trimmed. They keep the branches short and the trees compact by trimming them back every few years. See the pile of dirt in front of the Opera house? I didn't take a picture the first day, because it was just a pile of dirt,
but the next day it looked like this,
and on the following day it was all filled in with plants.
This bandstand sat in the middle of a small 'place' or park. See the nice railing?
I liked it so much I took more pictures of it.
I have more, but you get the idea.
Vichy is on the banks of the river Allier.
A park spreads out along the river in town providing walking and biking paths.
There is also a large arboretum along the river. I spent some time here trying to learn the French names of some of the trees that were labeled.
The church at the top of the hill was built between 1925 and 1931 in the Art Deco style. This site has a picture of the elaborate interior.
Vichy has a great variety of architecture. Here are some examples. You can see the church tower again behind the buildings, above.
A house in the style of a Swiss chalet.
Here we see houses in the neo-baroque and neo-gothic styles.
Le "Castel Flamand" built in 1898.
The former home of Vichy Poet and journalist, Albert Londres.
A close-up of the door and towers.
A couple more doors .
Another ornate door.
And one more in the Venetian Gothic style.
If you would like to see more pictures and some panoramic views of beautiful Vichy, take a look at this site. Vichy virtuel
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