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Evian-les-bains is a very scenic, historic spa town that catered to the elite of the early 1900’s. Like many of the spa towns in the area, it has “les bains” in its name to indicate the presence of spas, e.g., Aix-les-bains, Thonon-les-bains, and on the swiss side Yverdon-les bains.

After our visit to the source of the Evian brand mineral water (see last post), we took a scroll along the lake front. Two strange trees lean over the path creating a sort of green arch, this is one of them.

On the lake front is a casino which entertains the spa guests between their treatments. It was built in 1911 and probably a very glamorous place back then.

Also on the lake front, next to the casino, is the Palais Lumière (the Evian Baths from 1902 to 1984) which has served as the town’s cultural and convention centre since 2006. It was running an exhibition about Charlie Chaplin when we visited. The palais is named after the Lumière brothers who invented cinematography, made a fortune, and built a villa in Evian (now used as the town hall).

The building is pale yellow and white in color – and according to some, a prestigious example of spa architecture (didn’t know there is such a specialty?). The entrance has big mirrors installed on either side – presumably to make the spa guests more aware of their looks and shape ?

Wall paintings of bathing nudes on both sides of the entrance. The mirror shows the painting from the other side.

Source Bonnevie – the “Good Life” spring in the main entrance hall.  The skylight, the pastel shades of the mosaics on the floor, and the statues make the interior very airy, soft, and comforting. The spas are now operating at the modern lake front Hilton and further up the hill at the Hotel Royal.

We returned around 6pm. This is the boat that would take us back – it was approaching Evian’s pier.

Back to Ouchy, Lausanne – 13 km across the lake.

A very nice day indeed.


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