Châtel-Guyon - France


Around 1185, Guy II Count of Auvergne, in conflict at the time with his brother Robert, Bishop of Clermont, had a castle built at the top of a hill with a calvary towering above the Limagne, called Castrum Guidonis, which later became Châtel-Guyon. In order to settle the dispute, King Philippe-Auguste sent troups in 1213 to take that fortress by assault.


After the plague of 1634, the inhabitants of the hamlet of Saint-Coust took refuge round the old dilapidated castle, using the stones to build their houses. The village of Châtel-Guyon was born.


The peasant way of life of the Châtelguyonnais was then mainly organized around wine-growing. 




Historical background

In 1671 Duclos the chemist carried out the first analyses of the water.  At the end of the 17th century, the springs spurted already with a particular noise which won them the name of "Gargouilloux" Gurgling waters. Although already famous in the 18th century, the Spa of Châtel-Guyon became really fashionable only in the 19th century.

In 1817 the council had a first very basic installation built. Camille Bosson, whose family had obtained the concession of the waters, built the first installation worthy of the name in 1858.

The creation of the railway in Riom in 1855 was a turning point in the development of the spa. In 1878, the Châtel-Guyon Waters Company, bought the Brosson and the Barse installations, and started major urban planning, in particular the realization of the avenue des Bains (today avenue Baraduc) and the construction of the new Great Spa Establisments.

In 1912, Châtel-Guyon was declared a spa and had its own major railway station built.  At the beginning of the 20th century, there were 28 spa springs. Some of them, the Deval, Germaine, Louise, Marguerite and Yvonne springs supplied the fountains of the thermal park, others the Great Water-Cure Establishments, the Henry spring supplied the establishments of the same name, built from 1882 to 1888, and destroyed in 1982 to be replaced by the present more modern establishment, at last the water of the Gubler spring was bottled to be sold by shipping.



1878 Creation of the Waters Company

1881 Building of the first luxury hotel, The Splendid Hôtel

1888 Guy de Maupassant's 1st spa therapy (1887 publication of Mont Oriol, a story about the creation of a thermal spa, 1888 Building of the first Henry Establishment (extended in 1902)

1908 Inauguration of the Great Spa Establishments

1912 Inauguration of the Châtel-Guyon railway station

1912 The town is listed as a spa

1930 Construction of the town's last luxury hotel: The Grand Hôtel

Water sources

Five thermal springs containing chlorine, bicarbonate, calcium and magnesium particularly rich in Magnesium, Silicon, Lithium and diverse essential trace elements.

Magnesium: 383.10
Silicon: 148.50
Lithium: 4.40
Calcium: 647.40
Potassium 91.30
Strontium: 8.64
Iron: 4.44
Boron: 1.40
Bicarbonate: 2,525.40
Chloride: 1,990.00
Fluorine: 0.56
Manganese: 0.24
Sulphate: 359.00
Phosphate: 0.06


Thermal water is used as drinking cure and internal care
Drinking cure:
Carnot, Marguerite, Germaine, Deval and Miraton are the five thermal springs. They have the same
composition but with different concentrations. The water is taken at regular hours, 4 to 6 times a
day, when possible on an empty stomach in the morning, at lunch time and at the end of the day in gradual doses.

Cultural heritage

A few major elements of the thermal Heritage


The very first establishment was built in 1856-1858 on this site. As it became too small, it was replaced in 1906 by the present building, designed by the architect Benjamin Chaussemiche, Prix de Rome in Architecture. (Disused since 2004). The front of the building refers partly to Classical architecture and partly to Romanesque architecture. The hallway which led to two care galleries, one for men the other for women, would also be used as standing gallery and reading room. The hallway with its red marbled columns, twin U-shaped staircases and gasket-vault is the most remarkable part of the building.



Built from 1898 to 1900 from the drawings of the Parisian Architect Albert Le Voisvenel, the Casino and Theatre was extended in 1908-1910 by the Architect Edouard Niermans (designer of the Négresco in Nice). Initially, the Theatre had a sliding roof (which nowadays does not exist any longer). Its front with rich ornaments and in particular its broken and curved pediment bears testimony of German rococo. The front of the building to the South is ornamented with sgraffito (engraved ornament). The old Festival Hall, nowadays the Ambassadors' Hall, in Louis XVI style, displays a nice décor and an elegant gallery half-way up. In the 30's, low-relief friezes with stylized animals and plants were to embellish the old dance-hall, which is nowadays the dining room "Le Colonial".



Brosson Square

Built in 1929-1932 by Ernest Pincot. Architecture in the Art Deco style: sets of projections, openings with angled corners,stylized décors. Windows ornamented with low-relief. Dining room ornamented with columns and a wrought iron balustrade with a basket of flowers.  Hallway decorated with an Art Deco stained glass window by Marcelle Russias.

Spa and treatments

The waters of CHÂTEL-GUYON: 

Thanks to the richness in magnesium and trace elements, taking the waters allows:
• Regulation of the intestinal transit through an effect on the colonic motricity
• Balanced effect on the intestinal flora
• Cytoprotective and healing effect on the intestinal mucosa

The exceptional content of the waters in silicon participates in the effectiveness of the course of treatment in rheumatology:
Silicon is an essential component of bone, cartilage and collagen
• It enables solubilization of microcrystals
• It regulates the calcification processes in inflammatory rheumatism

• Drinking cure
• Intestinal drip
• Clay poultice
• Anal and perineal spray
• Abdominal massage under sprinkling shower
• Bath with underwater jets
• Whirlpool bath
• Immersion bath with shower
• Collective steam bath
• Vichy rainforest shower

• Local shower with jet
• Bowel irrigation (enema)
• Overall Scotch hose treatment (full-force or filtered)
• General shower......

• Drinking cure
• Clay poultices
• Under water massage
• Bath with underwater jets 
• Whirlpool bath 
• Immersion bath with shower
• Collective steam bath
• Vichy rainforest shower
• Local shower with jet
• Overall Scotch hose treatment (full-force or filtered) 
• General shower

Facts and figures

ARRIVALS (2009) : From May to September : 15496





2006: 99004

2007: 77858

2008: 71936

2009: 65102

2010: 63757



2006: 4428

2007: 4260

2008: 3367

2009: 3714

2010: 4021



400 Apartments

2 camping sites (3* and 2*)



3* 2 hotels 250 beds

2* 9 hotels 520 beds

1* 4 hotels 220 beds


Total : 2800 beds



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