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The Belle Epoque district

The Belle Époque district of the Grand Domaine

In 1886, Albert Christophle, lawyer and minister of public works, drew up a set of very strict specifications for building the part of town which was to host the first tourist visitors — the new, affluent middle class having made their fortunes in industry. This new customer, in search of the exotic, good health and tranquillity, had exacting requirements and money to spend, and liked nothing more than planning a holiday in the spa towns, newly reachable by railway.

The neighbourhood is located on a plot of over eighty acres of forest divided into parcels of 3,500 m². Building here must obey all the specifications, orders and conditions for elevation, size and view, including not only the houses, but their fences and outbuildings too.

Architects were obliged (and still are) to use local and natural materials (Armorican sandstone, iron, wood, slate or enamel tiles), approved volumes (bow windows, awnings, balconies, canopies, wide roofs) and colours, each with a particular symbolism (blue for water, yellow for air, green for nature and red for the earth).

Holidaymakers staying in the villas from June to September enjoy all the benefits of the spa sources, breathing the air of the forest, and making the most of the various activities on offer, at the casino, the spa, the tennis club or at the racetrack.

The celebrated "Belle Époque" period came to end with the outbreak of the First World War.

 

Inspired by the Art Deco style, the Casino and the Sacred Heart Church (a piece of protected 20th century heritage) add bursts of whiteness to the local architecture, adding to the charm of a timeless resort.

 

 

Guided tour of the neighbourhood on reservation with the Tourist Office on +33 (0)2 33 37 85 66

More information on the tour

Download our Belle-Époque district guide

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