The « Hôtel de Londres » was born in the middle of the 19th century. It was an impressive building of 199 bedrooms at that time, its name was « Hôtel du Nord et de Londres ». its listed façade was buit in the typical auvergnat style. According to the Guide Michelin of 1925, the hôtel had electricity and received clergymen among its guests !
In the XIXth century (the colonial high period) it was in common pratice to give the name of countries, capitals or crowned personnalities to hotels. So you will come across a lot of « Hôtel de Paris », « Hôtel de la Reine Elisabeth » or « Hôtel de Russie ». « Hôtel de Londres » follows the rule.
Celts and Romans already used the Monts d’Auvergne waters for their curative properties. In the Middle Ages this practise decreased but not in the Mont Dore where lung and rhumatism illnesses continued to be cured. It was free and popular and widly used.
In the XIX century nescent capitalism began to be interested in natural health : Watercure resorts such as La Bourboule and Le Mont Dore were growing chiefly since 1830 with the opening of casinos and hotels arround cure centers. Among the celebrities at the Mont Dore waters, we know The Marquise de Sevigne, the Marquis de Mirabeau (father of the famous orator), George Sand, Alfred de Musset, Balzac, Anatole France, Marie of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (mother of Belgian King Albert 1st), Marie of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (Queen of Romania), Marcel Proust, Georges Clemenceau, Marshal Jean de Lattre de Tassigny ...
And more, two princesses of French Royal blood stayed at the Mont Dore : La Duchesse d’Angoulême, Louis XVI’s daughter and la Duchesse de Berry, King Charles X’s daughter in law. Two streets of the resort where given the name of these two ladies. It was the same for George Sand who took about ten courses of treatment at the end of her life.
She chose the station of Mont Dore as the subject of one of her novels « Jean des Roches ». Anatole France himself wrote « Jo Caste » of witch action takes place at the Mont Dore and its surroundings. The Palace Sarciron, to day a locative private residence, is the last witness of this blooming period of mondorian thermalism. Built by Louis Jarrier an architect of Clermont, it opened its doors en June 1907. Its 300 bedrooms and 200 employees welcomed Asian Princes, artists, manufacturer’s and banker’s families. Until 1953, when it was closed, Sarciron was considered as one of the five greatest palaces in France.
Water cure Mont Dore
The ski appeared in 1902 in Auvergne, on the overside of the montain, at Besse en Chandesse, thanks to Abbé Blot who, coming back from a trip to Austria, braught two pairs of skis. Preaching the usefulness of this « new toil », he teached his parishoners skiing. So they could slide from farm to farm and from hamlet to village.
The « white fever » made The Mont Dore third French resort after Chamonix and Megève.
The years before the « Great War » were the most beautiful. The Mont Dore became the parisian snow field. Celebrities and V.I.Ps of these years crowded the ski run. The war broke this prosperity. After the war wintersports became more democratic and less worthly people enjoyed skiing’s pleascent effects.
Built in 1936 the telepherique SANCY Nber 1 was ordered by Dieudonné COSTES, the famous pilot.
The Capucin funicular is the oldest electric powered one, opened in 1898, it is listed in the « inventaire des monuments historiques ». To day, it continues to work in its original state.