Aix-les-Bains is a city of Savoie, in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region, 15 km north of Chambery.
The town is located on the eastern shore of Lake Bourget, and is dominated on the east by Mount Revard and the alpine massif of Bauges.
Renowned for its thermal springs since Roman times, the city still retains during the Middle Ages a rural physiognomy. The heart of the town was rebuilt in the 18th century after a fire, according to modern planning rules, but it was not until the end of the 18th century that a new spa was built and the lake was used as a commercial route.
During the nineteenth century, the spa is developing even more and the city is endowed with often luxurious hotel facilities and opulent villas.
During the twentieth century, Aix-les-Bains which also knows a certain industrialization becomes a tourist capital and has a port, a golf course and a number of sports and cultural facilities to entertain curists and holidaymakers attracted by the lake and the mountains relatives.
With more than 30,000 inhabitants, the city, lively and green, remains a must for anyone visiting the region and is a resort popular in all seasons.
Aix-les-Bains has a historical and architectural heritage of quality, largely related to its thermal vocation, and should be discovered.
The oldest monument is the Arch of Campanus, named after a rich patrician, 9 meters high, consisting of an arch surmounted in particular by a cornice and a frieze. Symbolizing the passage to the beyond, it was a funerary monument.
Direction then City Hall, former feudal castle refitted in the sixteenth century in a Gothic style except the main staircase with a stone ramp and dominated by arched Renaissance style arches.
In a very different register, the castle of the King's Rock residential vocation was completed in 1900. It symbolizes the triumphant era of the baths. Oriental style, including a dungeon, terrace and balconies, this "madness" architectural is now classified.
The city also had many palaces, during the second half of the nineteenth century, to accommodate its wealthy guests. The decorations are often ostentatious, rival neo-baroque or neoclassical touches, mosaics and ironwork are legion and the gardens just as "worked"... Let's mention for example the Grand Hotel with an atrium, the splendid whose salons are adorned frescoes, the Bernascon or the Excelsior. Converted into residential buildings, they mark out the city and give it a part of its identity.
In the same period dates the Casino Grand Cercle, inaugurated in 1850 and quickly enlarged: it includes games rooms, lounges, a French theater (later replaced by a theater with 900 seats) and a restaurant. Famous artists are invited as Antonio Salviati, collaborator of Charles Garnier, who covers the ceilings of mosaics gold backgrounds.
Guided tours are offered in season and brochures are available to learn about the city's most notable buildings, including casinos and thermal baths. Information on +33 4 79 88 68 00.
On a cultural level, installed in a Belle Époque villa, the Faure museum offers a collection of Impressionist paintings and sculptures, including many Rodin. Open Wednesday to Sunday. Price: 5 euros. Information on +33 4 79 61 06 57.
For shows and concerts, the casino theater and the green theater in the spa park or the convention center offer a rich and varied program all year long. Information on +33 4 79 88 68 00.
For athletes, the city has a potential of the first order. Near the lake, in the heart of a 12-hectare park, the Aqualac center has an Olympic pool and indoor or open-air play equipment. Information on +33 4 79 61 48 80.
In summer, it is also possible to enjoy the pure waters of Lake Bourget, a natural lake of glacial origin, whose water temperature frequently exceeds 25 degrees. Rendez-vous on the appointed beaches of Mémard and Rowing for swimming and idleness.
Other water sports possible for young and adults, beginners or experienced practitioners: sailing with the nautical club (contact +33 4 79 34 10 74), diving (join +33 4 79 63 46 13) or water skiing (call +33 6 46 65 31 81).
The international golf course, whose 18-hole course was set up in the early 20th century on a green field of 45 hectares, 5.5 km long, is also very popular. Information on +33 4 79 61 23 35.
You can also opt for a game of tennis by reserving a court at +33 4 79 88 34 34 or prefer a horse ride by joining the equestrian center at +33 6 22 03 16 35 or +33 7 68 12 91 26.
As for the racetrack with a track of 1,600 m, there are frequent meetings and meetings. Information on +33 4 79 61 40 04.
For lovers of hiking or mountain biking, the shores of the lake where are built an esplanade and a major marina, or the greenway reserved for pedestrians, cyclists or riders, are essential.
The Tourist Office of the city also offers different thematic itineraries (urban walks or hikes including the outskirts of the massif overlooking the city and the shores of the lake), focused on the heritage or the rich flora and fauna of this lake ecosystem. one side, mountainous of the other... Brochures and information on +33 4 79 88 68 00.