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Guided tour: the history of thermal spa activity

Guided tour: the history of thermal spa activity

The thermal spa activity in La Roche-Posay - historical and more recent

Before thermal spa activity

The name La Roche-Posay is the composition of two names.  The town is built on a 20-metre-high tuffeau rock - or "roche". Posay was a village 4 km from the rock. The two parishes were united after the French Revolution at the beginning of the 19th century.

In the Middle Ages it was a fortified town, and the first in the northern Poitou area to have three gateways: Porte Bourbon, Porte de Guyenne demolished in the 19th century, and Porte Saint Louis which no longer exists. The town first belonged to Baron de Preuilly from 965 to 1410, then became the property of the Chastaigners until 1462 when it was handed over to Izoré de Pleumartin. The Creuse river acts as a natural border separating the Indre et Loire, the Vienne and the Poitou and the Centre.

The spa activity is very recent, dating back to the beginning of the 20th century

Tthermal spa activity is a long tradition here, with stories of cures and healing passed down verbally for five centuries. The government decided to list La Roche-Posay as a thermal spa town in 1913. After the First World War, the number of visitors dropped dramatically. The municipality decided to sell the sources to the water utility company, which were then sold in 1921 to Dr. Benjamin Bord who built Les Themes du Connétable. When he died, Mr. Roch, the ower of the Hôtel Central (Saint Roch) provided treatments in his establishment, without authorisation. On his death, an entrepreneur Mr. Fath bought the two rival activities and created a single thermal spa comany with two spa centres. That is how the town developed around the thermal spa activity, treating skin conditions, psoriasis, eczema, burns victims and cancer recovery patients.

Guided tours all year round organised by the Tourist Information Centre

La Roche-Posay Tourist Information Centre has a guide available to take you on discovery tours to learn more about the town's rich thermal spa history.

Every third Wednesday at 2.30pm

For groups by appointment

For more information and bookings contact the Tourist Information Centre - +33 (0)5 49 19 13 00