The fashion for sea baths is relatively recent. Before the 19th century, bathing in the sea hardly seems to have been practiced, except in the exceptional cases where certain doctors prescribed them in an attempt to alleviate or cure ailments resistant to the usual medications.
If Madame de Sévigné is to be believed, in the 17th century it was considered thatsea baths could be effective against rage of body and mind.
Prescribed therefore initially for its therapeutic virtues, the cure is no fun at all for patients! Baths are generally taken in autumn or winter in water no higher than 10°C, and preferably in the morning on an empty stomach.
The patient is placed in the hands of a bather who plunges him underwater just as the wave breaks, to make him experience the emotion of drowning. This is the blade bath… Nothing like it for tightening the pores and getting the blood flowing!
The phenomenon of sea bathing for pleasure appeared and became more pronounced with the advent of the railway. The French rail network developed in the second half of the 19th century. In 1870, the Paris-Granville train line was created, linking the two towns in “just” 9h.
In 1908, the so-called “pleasure trains” were created linking Granville, Avranches and Sourdeval, via Saint-Pair-sur-Mer.
At the end of the 19th century and throughout the 20th, hotels, casinos and numerous seaside villas for the wealthy were built. This is the golden age of seaside villas in the communes of Donville-les-Bains, Granville, Saint-Pair-sur-Mer, Jullouville and Carolles, from north to south of the Destination.