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The Sainte-Marguerite spa

An ephemeral spa

In the town of Saint-Maurice, the opposite bank of the Allier is also rich in mineral springs from the same hydrothermal basin as the Saladis, its waters of a similar composition. Known and used sporadically since ancient times, the Sainte-Marguerite springs were exploited from the 1840s, when an entrepreneur decided to set up a modest bathing establishment there. A few years later, this was extended and new hotels were built on the spa site, which received up to 600 people a day. There were a number of refreshment stalls on the spa’s extensive grounds, highlighted by small buildings with original shapes. In 1889, following a lengthy legal dispute between the owner and the authorities, the site was auctioned off, putting an end to the spa’s activities.
The site, now privately owned, has retained most of its features. In cold weather, it gets invaded by the mist emanating from the spring run-off.

Like a finely sparkling water

Shortly after the closure of the small spa, another adventure began in Sainte-Marguerite: the production and bottling of mineral water extracted from the Chapelle, Héron and Valois springs, thanks to an operating licence issued by the government in 1894.
At first, production was modest and just for therapeutic purposes. However, from the 1930s, that production became industrial and Sainte-Marguerite mineral water became a mainstream consumer product. In 1995, the old factory was replaced by a modern production plant belonging to a major retail chain. It is supplied in part by a borehole located 400m south of Les Saladis, whose pipe runs under the Allier.

Image captions

  • The Sainte-Marguerite spa site, with the old Mandement hotel in the centre
  • The « cave » of the Valois spring, in the grounds of the spa. In the background, the old bottling plant.


More information on www.tourism.mondarverne.com