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©The race|Cindy Michaud

The Station

Not only has it regained its former glory, but the area has become a meeting place for night owls. The Vichy train station was built in barely a year; a real feat for this vast giant machine, the pride of the PLM (Paris-Lyon-Mediterranean).

The Vichy train station has regained its taste for the city.

Almost 150 years old, it was well worth a facelift!

When Napoleon III came to the town, he did not appreciate having to get off the train a few kilometers earlier… The following year, in 1862, for his second cure in the spa town, which will become the place of all attractions, the brand new station is inaugurated. Imagine this July 11, 1862… The speeches as long as the Yangtze River, a bit soporific under the heat of a scorching July; the little girls running towards the Emperor, still a bit awkward in their curtseys; and the eager and restrained crowd, a thousand pairs of eyes set on the Emperor.

The station square, for a long time an interlopers’ meeting place, was abandoned. Today, pedestrian walkways pierce gardens populated with lush vegetation. Palm trees, temporarily dwarfed, spread out along a perspective and magnolias display a deep green, slightly shiny, almost exotic color in winter as well as in summer: a whole world in the making that brings its beneficial shade to travelers and to the customers of the surrounding brasseries. The cars have been pushed further back. In short, life is good and you can feel it all around. The neighborhood is gradually changing.

Behind the station, in front of the station, everything is possible and it’s easier to get closer. Businesses have not been forgotten: an atrium houses a business hotel, an incubator and a business center. Nearby, numerous bars will welcome new populations of executives for lunch or to have a drink before returning to Lyon, Paris or Clermont. In the evening, the terraces will be filled with a diverse crowd of people who have come to enjoy the atmosphere of this new fashionable district.