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Vichy (Municipality, Allier, France)

Last modified: 2022-03-07 by ivan sache
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Flag of Vichy - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 19 September 2021

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Presentation of Vichy

The municipality of Vichy (24,980 inhabitants in 2019; 585 ha) is located 50 km north of Clermont-Ferrand.

Vichy was registered in 2021 on UNESCO World Heritage List, as part of the Great Spas of Europe because of its famous baths and its architectural testimony to the popularity of spa towns in Europe from the 18th through 20th centuries. During the Second World War, Vichy was the seat of the puppet French State from 1940 to 1944. The town was chosen because of its situation in the Free Zone, its large hotel capacity and modern telecommunications equipment.

Olivier Touzeau, 19 September 2021

Flag of Vichy

The flag of Vichy in use since 2020 (photo, photo, photo, photo) is blue with the municipal logo, all in white.

Olivier Touzeau, 19 September 2021

Former flag of Vichy

[Flag]         [Flag]

Former flag of Vichy, two versions - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 19 September 2021

The former flag of Vichy (photo, photo, photo, photo, photo) was silimar but with the logo in full colors (white and green) and another font for the writing "Ville de Vichy". Another version of the flag (photo, photo, photo) included the full logo, with the word "Vichy" in the blue part and the words "Ville de Vichy" on a white frame.
The two flag were already in use in the 2000s; and it seems that since the mid-2010s the version without white frame has been the only one used.

Olivier Touzeau, 19 September 2021

Vichy in Great Spas of Europe


Flag of Vichy - Great Spas of Europe - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 19 September 2021

he Great Spa Towns of Europe (website) are eleven famous spa towns that represent the heyday of the European spa phenomenon, rooted in antiquity and having their highest expression between 1700 and 1930. The 11 spa towns are Baden bei Wien, Spa, Františkovy Lázně, Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázně, Vichy, Bad Ems, Baden-Baden, Bad Kissingen, Montecatini Terme, and Bath.
In 1987 the city of Bath became the first spa town in the world to be registered on the list the World Heritage List by UNESCO. By the 2000s spa towns in Belgium, the Czech Republic and Germany were also seeking this prestigious inscription and UNESCO, supported by its advisory body ICOMOS, suggested that a global study be undertaken "to explore the potential of a serial nomination being developed to express the outstanding universal value of the European spa phenomenon."
An international conference took place in Baden-Baden in 2010, called "European Health Resorts and Fashionable Spas of the 19th Century". A working group was established by the Mayors of 16 spa towns to carry out the proposed study. Seven countries (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom) got together at ministerial level to cooperate and established an International Steering Group (ISG) to guide the Mayors through this complex process. A further group of independent international experts was also appointed by the ISG to prepare a nomination dossier for submission to UNESCO. This project and the name of the series of spa towns became known as the Great Spas of Europe. Eventually the experts and the ISG recommended that 11 of the 16 spa towns were the best representative group to illustrate the outstanding universal value of the European spa phenomenon and a nomination was submitted to UNESCO in January 2019.
The Great Spa Towns of Europe was inscribed on the World Heritage List at the 44th World Heritage Committee meeting in Fuzhou, China. The name of the property was changed to the Great Spa Towns of Europe, previously the Great Spas of Europe.

During a meeting in Vichy of the mayors of the 11 towns in 2019, a white flag with the (textual) logo of the Great Spas of Europe was used (photo). White flags with the names of the towns, their logo in small at the top and the logo of the Great Spas of Europe at the bottom have been created, here Vichy (photo).

Olivier Touzeau, 19 September 2021

Club de l'Aviron de Vichy


Burgee of CAV - Image by Ivan Sache, 22 May 2006

The watersports (rowing, canoe-kayak, swimming and water-polo) club Aviron vichyssois was founded in Vichy by Mr. Dubessay. In 1901, a few members of the club led by Mr. Blanc seceded to form the Club Nautique de Vichy (rowing, swimming, rugby, athletics etc...) The two clubs organized famous competitions, some of them still existing like Swimming through Vichy and the Vichy Regattas. In 1900, the Regattas were patroned by President of the Republic Émile Loubet, who offerred to the winner a vase from Sèvres.
Several members of the two clubs died during the First World War and watersports activity resumed in Vichy only in the 1922. The Vichy clubs were then amongst the best rowing clubs in France; Bouton and Sauvestre, from Aviron vichyssois, ran the final in the European Championships in Amsterdam in 1937. The set up of the Vichy government increased the practice of watersports: a lot of people (soldiers, refugees, civil servants) settled in Vichy and the development of sport was favoured by the government.
In 1957, the project of building a barrage and an artificial lake on river Allier, already discussed before the war, was eventually adopted, as a part of the plan of development of the town designed by the new Mayor, Pierre Coulon. The works were completed on 9 June 1963 and the lake was inaugurated with the World Championships of Water-skiing. It was also possible to design on the lake an official rowing basin with six rows and a length of 2,000 m. In 1966, Coulon convinced the two clubs to merge into the Club de l'Aviron de Vichy (website), which was granted in 1967 the organization of the European Championships of Rowing. The mayor passed away a few weeks before the Championship. The competition was a big success, so that every year from 1969 to 1991, the club has organized the Internationaux de France d'Aviron. The rowing basin was completely revamped in 1983 for the organization of the Junior World Championships.

The burgee of CAV is blue with the French national flag in canton, bordered yellow, and the letters C.A.V. in yellow.

Ivan Sache, 22 May 2006