Vichy, Napoleon III

Festival of Napoleon III at Vichy
Vichy Fête Napoléon III
Vichy (Auvergne region)

The famous French spa and resort city of Vichy hosts costume parade, dances, a historical banquet a show at the opera, exhibitions and conferences, historical tours and carriage rides for a whole weekend devoted to the figure of Emperor Napoleon III and the French Second Empire...


Geographical, cultural and historical context

Vichy, a town located in the Allier department in Auvergne region of central France, has been a renowned spa and resort over centuries. During the Gallic Campaigns the Romans, aware of the therapeutic value of the thermal springs in the area, founded a town on the banks of the Allier River, later renamed Vippiacus, the today Vichy, which soon flourished. Over centuries the city welcomed many visitors taking thermal cure from all over France and Europe, and became quite popular during the 19th century, when Vichy was a station à la mode, attended by many celebrities.

Vichy is also known as the Imperial City of Emperor Napoleon III (1808-1873), who stayed there between 1861 and 1866. The presence of Napoleon III and his court marked indeed a significant restyling of the city itself: dikes were built along the Allier river, 13 hectares of landscaped gardens replaced the old marshes, and along the new boulevards and streets several chalets and pavilions were built for the Emperor himself and his court, as well as a large casino in 1865. Napoleon III catalysed also the development of a small rail station which multiplied the number of inhabitants and visitors by ten in fifty years. Later on the second large construction campaign in Vichy took place during the Belle Époque period (ca. 1871-1914).

Event description and programme

Every year, for several days, the city goes back to its past honouring the times of Napoleon III and inviting all visitors in a journey through time into the 19th century. Among the spectacles and activities there are guided tours in the historical places of Vichy and Napoleon III, grand parade, music and dancing, historical dinner, Grand Ball and the show at the Opera House. The city and all its visitors dive into the world of elegance, crinolines and princesses, servants and masters.

Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.

Info & Contact

Office de Tourisme et de Thermalisme de Vichy
Address: 5 rue du Casino, 03200 Vichy, department of Allier, region of Auvergne, France
Tel.: +33 470987194

Image: copyright and source Thierry Zoccolan/AFP/Getty Images via The Guardian
Text: Office de Tourisme et de Thermalisme de Vichy, Wikipedia

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