The bay of La Baule is rated amongst one of the most beautiful bays in the World. Its incredible 9km of golden sands provide an exceptional setting for leisure activities of every kind!
First a little bit of history…
The popularity of ‘seaside holidays’ first came to being in Le Croisic but rapidly spread to the neighbouring resorts of Le Pouliguen and Pornichet with the arrival of the railway in 1857 in Saint-Nazaire. It wasn’t until later with the construction of a rail link between Saint-Nazaire and Le Croisic that it was possible to alight at ‘La Bôle’ an area which was at the time virtually deserted lost in the middle of sand dunes planted with maritime pines.
Even as late as 1880 there was still a vast wooded area of some 4 hectares devoid of any buildings between the neighbourhoods of Benoit and the residential area of Hennecart. In 1895 this plot was purchased from ‘la Société des Dunes’ by Mme Jules Pavie. The acquisition of this land enabled her to found a maritime institution for sick children suffering from tuberculosis.
In 1896 ‘L’Institut Verneuil’ was inaugurated but only remained open a few years. The resort flourished and developed in every way with the investment in the area by wealthy entrepreneurs and traders and saw the spelling of its name change to what it is known as today ‘La Baule’.
In 1902 Mme Pavie’s son Joseph became the vice-president of ‘La Société des Instituts Marins’. This former mayor of La Baule (1919-1925) would prove to be an important promotor of the Pavie plot development. He brought about major changes and modernization in the neighbourhood primarily by the creation of a network of avenues and the setting up of up to date infrastructures and facilities such as :
- a postal and telegraphical service in an oriental style
- an electric power station and water facility
- a petrol powered tramway : the shuttle linked the entire bay of Le Pouliguen as far as Pornichet
It is thanks to Joseph Pavie that ‘l’institut Verneuil’ was changed into a palace which later housed a casino as a result majestic villas started to spring up shortly after.
It was at this point that the resort became fashionable a trend which was further strengthened in the 20s under the leadership of M. André.