The Thermal Baths of Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc
A Development in Two Eras
Les Thermes de Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc is a spa facility that owes its existence to water that has been underground for centuries. In 1806, its natural temperature of 39 °C caught the attention of Joseph-Marie Gontard, whose fantastic natural curiosity about the potential benefits of these waters led to the development of thermal cures that are still in use today. Gontard had the spring waters analysed, and discovered that they had a high mineral content. The spa opened in 1807, at a time when the fashion for such facilities was in full swing. By 1815, people were flocking to the baths of Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc. That same year, Doctor Mattey observed and catalogued the therapeutic benefits of the hot springs, notably for the treatment of skin conditions, whether from drinking the water, showering or bathing.
Did you know ? Les Thermes de Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc was very popular with wealthy patrons, with 600 visitors as early as 1824.
In 1892, however, a natural disaster interrupted the development of the baths, when a mighty torrent of water destroyed everything in its path including the baths. Nonetheless, the baths were successfully rebuilt and their development continued thereafter.
From 1914 onwards, the resort saw the arrival of a new golden age, with the baths experiencing ever greater success that laid the foundations for their future development. With the creation of medical facilities on the eve of the First World War, Saint Gervais became a byword for progress, with the baths famous throughout France. The start of the 1960s saw the start of Les Thermes de Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc's great renaissance. In 1959, a new era began when Monsieur Califano became manager of the facility.
At the same time, Doctor Lépinay began using the waters of Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc to treat serious burns. In 1961, the famous classical dancer Janine Charrat suffered an accident when her tutu caught fire and she tragically suffered 70% burns. A major star in her time, she was left with little hope for the future of her great career. She was treated at Les Thermes de Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc which proved highly successful and allowed her to resume her career in 1964.