1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Vichy

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VICHY, a town of central France in the department of Allier, on the right bank of the Allier, 33 m. S. by E. of Moulins by rail. Pop. (1906) 14,520. Vichy owes its importance to its mineral waters, which were well known in the time of the Romans. They afterwards lost their celebrity and did not regain it till the 17th century, in the latter half of which they were visited and written of by Madame de Sévigné. Within the town or in its immediate vicinity there are between thirty and forty springs, twelve of which are state property, four of these having been tapped by boring. The waters of those which are outside the town are brought in by means of aqueducts. The most celebrated and frequented are the Grande Grille, L'Hôpital, the Célestins, and Lardy. The most copious of all, the Puits Carré, is reserved for the baths. All these, whether cold or hot (maximum temperature, 113° F.), are largely charged with bicarbonate of soda, some also are chalybeate and tonic. The waters, which are limpid, have an alkaline taste and emit a slight odour of sulphuretted hydrogen. They are recommended in cases of stomachic and liver complaint, also for diabetes, gravel and gout. Large quantities are bottled and exported. A luxurious bathing establishment, the property of the state, was opened in 1903. In addition to this, Vichy has the hydropathic establishments of Lardy, Larbaud and L'Hôpital, and a large military hospital, founded in 1843. A fine casino and two public parks add to its attraction. The promenade commands a splendid view of the mountains of Auvergne. Cusset, about 1 m. distant, has similar mineral waters and a bathing establishment.