Roaring Twenties

The Roaring Twenties in Vichy

A cosmopolitan and aristocratic clientèle.


After World War I, Vichy continued to grow. 80,000 came in 1919 and 148,000 in 1938 (with as many as 250,000 according to certain figures). Its popularity is a reflection of a great sense of openness that was occurring in the world. This was a cosmopolitan phenomenon, with people from every country and colony mingling in Vichy (and with 1/5 to 1/6 foreigners among the total number of visitors). It was also a widely diversified crowd that included business tycoons, aristocrats, political and diplomatic figures, all the way down to humble colonial administration personnel who came for "reconstitution" in Vichy.

Given this increase in the number of visitors, the thermal infrastructures underwent renewal (including enlarging the Grand Thermal Spa, the Callou and Lardy baths), thereby multiplying and modernizing the station's therapeutic arsenal. Innovations influenced various arenas: illutation (mud treatments) enlarged the range of Vichy thermal spa techniques, radiographic services performed in the thermal spa helped in making medical diagnoses, the Dietetic Service strengthened the nutritional element of the treatment, and the Center for Hydrological Research in Vichy improved researched efforts in hydrology.

Sports remained a major draw for visitors to Vichy. Beyond golf and tennis, the pigeon shooting range became one of the favorite scenes for thermal spa camaraderie. As for artistic endeavors, they were indeed impressive, and they were adapted to suit every taste. Operas, operettas, music-hall revues and musical festivals contributed to making Vichy the synthesis of musical life in France.


Vichy Guide for foreigners – Season 1922

The Baron Rotschild and Mrs Pulitzer, widow of the journalist (among the guests of Vichy). This composition dedicated to Vichy’s night life: theatre performances, concerts, balls..

Vichy Guide for foreigners – Season 1923

The Baron du Teil, president of the French equestrian society (among the guests of Vichy). The Sporting-Club of Vichy (SCV) offers kayaking on the other side of the river Allier. Tennis and golf players are going to indulge themselves in their favorite sports.

Vichy Guide for foreigners – Season 1924

The Persian Shah (among the guests of Vichy). Cécile Sorel (in performance). The Club-House terrace of the Sporting-Club of Vichy (SCV). The poster shows us how the thermal resorts are becoming serious competitors.

Vichy Guide for foreigners – Season 1925

The ministers of Romania, Serbia, Poland (among the guests of Vichy). All city hotels are filled with guests, the park of the sources is very popular. Pond with swans still the city’s calming oasis.

Vichy Guide for foreigners – Season 1926

The King of Romania S.A. and the king of Iraq Faïçal (among the guests of Vichy). Artist highlighted the water source Célestins with its modern Art Deco style.

Vichy Guide for foreigners – Season 1927

J.-H Rosny Sr., the president of the Goncourt academy (among the guests of Vichy). Grand opening of the new train path “London – Vichy – Pullman”. This picture may confuse you with the impression that there are not that many people in Vichy.

Vichy Guide for foreigners – Season 1928

Georges Claude, the inventor of liquid air (among the guests of Vichy). This is the year of the establishment of the Hydrological research laboratory in Vichy. On the poster the elegant health-resort visitor drinking mineral water, with the Casino on the background.

Vichy Guide for foreigners – Season 1929

The King of Portugal Manoel (among the guests of Vichy). This is the opening year of the new airdrome Vichy-Rhue. Sportsmen are resting in the Casino’s garden.

Vichy Guide for foreigners – Season 1930

Mr. and Mrs. Louis Hachette and the ministers of foreign affairs (among the guests of Vichy). Fernandel and Damia (in performance). Stylish girl on the poster is playing golf reminding that it remains one of the main sport attractions of Vichy.

Vichy Guide for foreigners – Season 1931

The Parisian Earl (among the guests of Vichy). This is the year of establishment of the Vichy’s dermatology-hygienic society (Vichy products). The new airport of Vichy launches new destinations to London, Algeria, Paris and Lyon.

Vichy Guide for foreigners – Season 1932

Pol Roger (French Champaign) among the guests of Vichy. Symphonic orchestra concerts perform in the city’s Casino. The new look of the source Célestins helps to avoid urban aspect of Vichy.

Vichy Guide for foreigners – Season 1933

The Sultan of Morocco (among the guests of Vichy). Joséphine Baker and Ray Ventura (in performance). Since 1877 horse-race becomes one of the other entertainments of the Thermal resort.

Vichy Guide for foreigners – Season 1934

Renée Saint-Cyr, the movie star and the mother of G. Lautner (among the guests of Vichy). Joséphine Baker (in performance). Architectural knowhow in the new baths Callou: asymmetrical spa was created (for men on one side and for women on another).

Vichy Guide for foreigners – Season 1935

Sir Oppenheimer (the founder of the diamond and gold mining company) and Richard Strauss (among the guests of Vichy). Madeleine Renaud (in performance). Sport remains on the first place. On the background the dome of the Thermal Center and two minarets.

Vichy Guide for foreigners – Season 1936

Léon Rénier, the president of the Havas (among the guests of Vichy). Serge Lifar (in performance). The front page of this guide could become a poster. The measure cup, which symbolize hydrotherapy, is on the background of sport – the dynamic and popular element of the thermal resort: golf, tennis, kayaking.

Vichy Guide for foreigners – Season 1937

The King of Egypt S.M. Farouk and jeweler L. Arpels (among the guests of Vichy). Establishment of the children sport park made more popular the Thermal resort, that used to offer sport activities for adults only.

Vichy Guide for foreigners – Season 1938

Albert Carré, the director of the agency Havas and Sir John Wallis, the private councilor to the Court of England (among the guests of Vichy). Mary Marquet (in performance). The city is surrounded by parks with the Thermal Center, Casino and the sport club on the first place.

Vichy Guide for foreigners – Season 1939

Mr. Truefitt, the director of Daily Mail and S.E. El Mokri, the Great Vizier of Morocco (among the guests of Vichy). After golf, tennis and the sport club, the city opens its doors for swimmers and builds the first public swimming pool in Vichy.