department: savoie (73)
Rising from the shores of the largest natural glacial lake,
the Lac du Bourget, Aix-les-Bains is one of the important French spa towns, and
has the largest fresh water marina in France. It is the second largest Savoy
town in terms of population.
Of international renown, Aix-les-Bains was for many years a
place of vacation for princely families and wealthy people; today it draws in
tourists for its setting between lake and mountain, its thermal baths and its Rock
Musilac festival. Essentially a spa town until the mid-20th century,
Aix-les-Bains has gradually transformed its local economy and is no longer
dependant on the thermal baths which are less frequently used than before.
All images © OTAIXLESBAINS_G_Lansard
PLACES OF INTEREST
The Casino Grand-Cercle is located in Aix-les-Bains, and
constitutes a major architectural complex in Savoy, in the same way as the
casino of Évian. The casino was opened in 1850 by the King Victor-Emmanuel II,
Duke of Savoy.
The Château of the Rock of the King is a 20th-century
chateau. It is located on the heights of Aix-les-Bains, built on a hillside,
the chateau dominates much of the town.
The Faure Museum is based on works originally from a private
collection, that of Dr. Jean Faure (1862-1942). They were bequeathed to the
city and kept, in a villa built in 1902, since 1949.
The town is dotted with numerous historic buildings as well
as other buildings of character. Of the Gallo-Roman era, there is the Arc
funéraire romain de Campanus [Roman funerary Arch of Campanus], erected by the
patrician of Gallia Narbonensis, Lucius Pompeius Campanus, honouring the dead
of his family.
THE CUISINE OF AIX-LES-BAINS
The cuisine of Aix-les-Bains is typically that of Savoy,
based on products of the mountain meadows, essentially the Bauges. In addition
to its famous fondue, there is the pleasing main course of potato doughnuts,
and also crozets, péla, tartiflette, diots, polenta and rioutes. For dessert,
there are bugnes, confiture de lait and blueberry pie (tartes aux myrtilles)
Aix features Savoy cheeses such as Abondance, Beaufort, the Bleu du Mont-Cenis,
Savoy Emmental, Savoy Gruyère, Persillé des Aravis, Reblochon, Abbaye de Tamié,
Tomme de Savoie and many others.