Thanks to favorable economic circumstances and a period of political stability, the growth in the number of visitors to Vichy was uninterrupted, from 26,000 visitors in 1872 to 108,000 in 1913. Vichy became therefore the "Queen of the Thermal Cities."
If drinking mineral waters is a classic part of the spa experience, thermal techniques have evolved: the ancient practice of taking thermal baths has gradually given way to more active shower treatments. The range of treatments has grown (thermal gas showers and baths, inhalation, sprays, gargling, steam baths, etc.). Combining massage and thermal techniques, the renowned "Vichy shower" was perfected in 1896.
With the opening of the "world's largest thermal spa" in 1903, Vichy adopted medical techniques to increase the effectiveness of its thermal treatments, giving rise to electrotherapy and mechanotherapy. This push for innovation led to the discovery of a central truth: physical exercise contributes to the effectiveness of the spa treatment. Henceforth, physical activity, including gymnastics, fencing, tennis, and golf, has become a key component of the thermal spa experience.
During this prosperous cultural period when France shed its bright light of civilization all over the world, Vichy not only benefited, but it also played an active role. A client base from all walks of life and from all social classes was attracted to Vichy by its rich artistic and musical offerings.
Réjane (in performance). Entertainment program (Casino), hydrotherapy (source Hôpital), transportation (the train station) and walking (Gour Saillant waterfall).
Louis Pasteur (among guests of Vichy). Treatment place (source Hôpital), entertainment place (Casino).
Emile Zola (among guests of Vichy). Reconstruction of the city. Thermal views are getting their modern look.
The price of Tunisia Talib Bay (among guests of Vichy). The illustration of the car – a new vehicle that changed the whole tourism industry.
The Duke and the Duchess Clermont-Tonnerre (among the guests of Vichy). The opening of the first in the world mechanotherapy center (rehabilitation by manual, physical, or mechanical means).
Sarah Bernhardt (in performance). The grand opening of the Vichy Thermal Center: the domes in Middle Eastern style is a tribute to the guests from Middle East.
Eleonora Duse and Buffalo Bill (in performance). The inauguration of the new Post Hotel. On the poster – Casino hall.
Réjane (in performance). Tennis that came to Vichy at the end of 19 century is becoming one of the most popular and high society’s kind of sport.
Xavier Leroux, composer (among the guests of Vichy). Establishment of the golf club. Building of the new modern pavilion of Vichy’s source Célestins. Michelin publishes its first road maps.
Konstantin Korovin, Russian painter (among the guests of Vichy). As many other balneal resorts, Vichy welcomes Club-House (English style), which soon becomes a place for high society meetings.
Mr. Montgolfier and Sultan of Morocco (among the guests of Vichy). Air show with Roland Garros. Pond with swans in the park becomes one of the points of interest in Vichy.