The town of Vichy, sometimes dubbed the "Queen of the Spas", was a major player in the rise of the European spa culture of the 19th century, in which France played a leading role.
Vichy is the most prestigious and renowned French spa, a town that served as an example for other places across France and its colonies.
Located on the plains along the River Allier, Vichy combines Parisian architectural panache with spa promenades. Napoleon III funded the construction of a new spa town including parks and boulevards, this cosmopolitan "Little Paris" boasting large spa complexes and drinking halls linked by covered promenades, a casino, theatre, hotels and villas.
Vichy continued as a spa even during the difficult years of WWII and its bottled water - "reine des villes d´eaux" - was until recently exported across the globe. The water is still an ingredient in branded cosmetics and skin care products which emanate from the Vichy laboratories. The Vichy brand can be found in pharmacies and boutiques across the Continent.