French local history - September 2019

Grand tourists who built Paradise in the Pyrenees - The Connexion's Jane Hanks charts the long history of Vernet-les-Bains, which was known to the Romans – but made by 19th-century Britons

Vernet-les-Bains, in the Pyrénées-Orientales, enjoyed fame and glory in the late 19th and early 20th century, due to wealthy British visitors on the Grand Tour of Europe who went there in the summer to take the waters and turned it into a fashionable destination.

The town was known as the ‘Paradise of the Pyrenees’ and attracted well-known figures such as Rudyard Kipling, who took his wife four times between 1907 and 1911 so she could benefit from the thermal baths, ...

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