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The nice story of Bandol...

Originally, the bay was not hidden a village of “the indomitable Gaul” but ... shy Greek sailors. When, in the sixth century BC, the Phocaeans landed on the shore, they decided to create the colony of Torroeis there. These sailors(who will later give their name to the résident of Marseille) come from the city of Phocée, in Greece. They brought in their amphorae the civilization of the vine: wine will become the economic pillar of the ancient world and will make the famous reputation of the future Bandol.

Later, under the Roman Empire, Torroeis took the name of Torroentum. Planted around the village of Castellet, the vineyard is terraced. In this exceptional location, viticulture finds perfect conditions to grow up. And the development of maritime business ensures the fame of the future wine of Bandol. The sea shipping also allows the creation of a first local harbour.

In the Middle Ages, the Bay of Bandol was used as a shelter for "ayguade" (filling up with fresh water) or for repairing damage. The sailors are the only inhabitants of this deserted harbour ...
In 1354, Queen Jeanne gave the Abbot of Saint-Victor the harbour and the island of Bendort, a name that would be changed into "Bandol" in 1600.
In 1603, Captain Antoine Boyer, future Lord of Bandol, obtained from Henri IV, by letters, the exclusivity of all tuna fishing, from La Ciotat to Antibes. At the end of the 16th century, a fortified castle was built by the Duke of Epernon.

In 1715, Lord François II de Boyer obtained the detachment of a territory big enough to allow him to create a real village, a fiefdom, naturally called… Bandol.

After the Revolution, the villages near Bandol - La Cadière-d'Azur, Saint Cyr-sur-Mer, Ollioules, Sanary-sur-Mer - decided to start a big production of wine. Quickly a great reputation is acquired. The harbour of Bandol ensures the shipping thanks to the many local from Bandol captains of tartanes.

In 1859, it was the inauguration of the train station, and thanks to it the arrival of the first tourists by the PLM line.
In 1859, it was the inauguration of the train station, and thanks to it the arrival of the first tourists by the PLM line.
During the nineteenth century, the activity of the vine gave place to the cultivation of flowers, shipped by train through France. The vines were replanted around Bandol during the "Belle Epoque", during this time the resort successfully achieved seaside tourism.
In July 1923, Bandol was classified as a “healthy resort”.
The Splendid Hotel was built in 1928-1929 by Mr. Bestosini, masonry contractor. The establishment opened its doors to tourists in July 1929, under the management of Monsieur Cabrol.

In 1941, the wines of Bandol obtained the AOC.
After the Second World War, the Mourvèdre grape produced the famous Bandol wine.
During the twentieth century, the harbour grew. Tourism is all about wine, maritime and artistic activities, especially during the Roaring Twenties.
In 2010, the town obtained the “Internet city” label.
In 2015, Bandol's tercentenary celebration!
In 2019, the Splendid Hotel is getting amazing renovations to welcome 21st century travelers in the greatest comfort ...
(Sources: Lucien Grillon, 1987)

The Roaring Twenties of the Riviera

In the 1920s and 1930s, from Bandol to Menton, the Côte d'Azur celebrated, attracting wealthy dandies, writers and artists from all over the world: Fitzgerald found the inspiration of the Magnificent Gatsby there, Matisse painted there, movie stars appeared regularly...
The French Riviera, as the Americans call it, is at the heart of an artistic time, with its Art Deco architecture, Charleston and the fashion of the time: short skirts and short
In a few years, the French Riviera became the Eldorado of a wealthy and modern youth. It sees la crème of the arts world: Jean Cocteau, Charlie Chaplin, Estée Lauder, Ernest Hemingway, Mistinguett, Maurice Chevalier, Cole Porter…

It was the glory time of palaces, casinos, dance halls ... The Splendid Hotel was born in this context and embodies its charm and joy of life.

Artists and personalities linked to Bandol

Alain Bombard : doctor, he became world famous by crossing the Atlantic alone, without water or food, in a rubber dinghy (the famous zodiac). A pioneer of sea survival, author of the bestseller Volunteer Shipwrecked, he lived in Bandol and is buried there.
Georges Bernanos
Georges Bernanos : the great writer, famous for “Sous le soleil de Satan” and “Diary of a country priest”, stayed in Bandol in 1945 in the villa La Pinède.
Jacques-Yves Cousteau : in June 1943, Barry beach (where there is a commemorative plaque) was the scene of the first tests of the scuba (scuba diving), still used today.
Cousteau is one of the inventors. After these conclusive tests in Bandol, he patented the invention. His success will allow him to buy the Calypso and make his famous oceanographic expeditions. In 2016 , a film was born about Commander Cousteau, "The Odyssey," starring Lambert Wilson and Audrey Tautou. The actor has practiced diving in the port of Marseille and the surrounding islands. When the film came out, its director Jérôme Salle said: "I grew up in the South of France, my parents had a sailboat and we sailed in the places where Cousteau had dived first, between the
Embiez, Porquerolles, all of them. these islands of the Var. "
Aldous Huxley : The British writer is famous for having written a classic science fiction, Brave New World (1932), adapted on a radio play by  Orson Welles and turned into a movie directed by Steven Spielberg, with Tom Cruise.
Nominated seven times for the Nobel Prize for Literature, the writer has influenced pop culture, especially the group of The Doors. Their name comes from one of his books, The Doors of Perception.
During the winter of 1929-1930, Aldous Huxley discovered Bandol while visiting his friend D. H. Lawrence. He will settle with his wife in a Bandolese villa, on the rocky side of La Gorguette.
David Herbert Lawrence : The English writer and his wife Frieda stayed at the Beau Rivage Hotel, where their friend Katherine Mansfield lived, during the winters of 1928-1929 and 1929-1930. In 1928 he had just published Lady Chatterley's Lover, a novel which caused a scandal at the time and remains a classic, with many adaptations in film and television.
Louis Lumière : the pioneer of cinema spent the end of his life facing the bay of Bandol, in his baroque residence Villa Lumen. Next door, in Villa Altra, he had built a cinema. In 1941, he became an honorary citizen of the city of Bandol. The town will also give its name to a boulevard.
Katherine Mansfield : She is a British writer and poet with New Zealand origin.
She left London in 1915 and settled in Bandol. The city inspires him Prelude.
Mistinguett : singer, dancer and actress, she was the queen of the music hall in the Belle Epoque then in the Roaring Twenties. Famous for her legs, her popular banter and songs like La Java, This is Paris or My man, she triumphs at the Casino de Paris, the Folies-Bergère and the Moulin-Rouge, then at the theater and at the cinema. She shares the life of Maurice Chevalier, they are a mythical couple.
She even plays in movies in the United States, where she embodies the "French woman" ... She built her house in Bandol, on the way to the castle, the villa Youp la la (The house does not exist anymore since 1960 and today it is a thalassotherapy center).
Raimu : born in Toulon in 1883, the emblematic actor of Sacha Guitry and Marcel Pagnol (César, La Femme du boulanger, etc.) was also  immortalized in Asterix cosmic book… He owned a house on the bay of Renecros, which he baptized "Ker Mocotte", and befriended Bernanos, who owned the villa next door. He welcomed Pagnol and Fernandel there.
Paul Ricard : the industrialist and Provençal manager, creator of pastis, bought the island of Bendor (a former location for pirates) in 1950. There, he created museums (including the wine museum) and organized artistic meetings.
Alfred Kastler : French physicist, he received the prestigious Nobel Prize in physics in 1966 for his discovery and development of methods for observing Hertzian resonances within atoms Retired in Bandol, he died there in 1984.
Valéry Giscard d’Estaing : The family of the former president owned a house on top of “La Motte”. He stayed there regularly.
Joseph Ravaisou : landscape painter born in Bandol in 1865, he was a friend of Cézanne.
Roger Van Rogger : Flemish painter born in 1914 in Antwerp, he discovered the French Riviera thanks to Jean Giono and the poet René Char.
He bought a small house in Bandol, on the Vallongues hill, and set up his workshop there. He enjoyed success with his painting close to the cubists, exhibited his paintings in Brazil and New York alongside Picasso and Pollock. Then he retired from the art world, wrote poems, painted a lot and installed gigantic sculptures on his property. After his death in Bandol in 1983, his wife Catherine created the Van Rogger Foundation, which exhibited her works in Bandol and received other artists on site.
Bandol has also welcomed great actors (including Marlon Brando and Gregory Peck) and many writers, including Thomas Mann.

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