The Bagnoles de l'Orne spring water is as rich in history as it is in trace elements. From medieval legends to the latest scientific explanations, its beneficial properties have continued to fascinate people over the centuries.

Legendary virtues...

Hélie de Cerny and his "Bagnoles mineral water treaty" appeared in 1740

"More than two centuries ago, according to popular tradition, this fountain was discovered by the residents in these areas. Afflicted by a terrible illness, similar to leprosy, the people bathed in this fountain and became healthy and clean once more, as though they had just come out of their mother's womb."

The legend of the horse "Rapide"

"An exhausted battle steed was abandoned in the Andaines forest by Lord Hugues of Tessé. One day, he saw his horse return, completely revitalised: the animal had drunk from the Bagnoles spring. Intrigued, the Lord of Tessé climbed onto the horse, who took him to the fountain. There, Hugues drunk the water, and was rejuvenated and strong again. He married the Lady of Bonvouloir, with whom he had many children, and he then proceeded to erect the Tower of Bonvouloir, shaped like a phallus."

This centuries-old tale illustrates the beneficial effects of the waters, so often associated with Sir Lancelot and the Knights of the Round Table. During the summer season, the town of the waters offers a tourist route, "In the footsteps of Sir Lancelot"...

Guyon Essirart legend, Lord of Bonvouloir

"On this ground he built a hut out of branches, and spent twenty one days bathing, sleeping and drinking the water... He then returned to meet his wife, who finally gave him an heir..."

Another legend

"Exhausted deer were being chased by hounds through a narrow gorge. They drank from the spring and regained their strength, allowing them to escape the hunters and dogs..."

"Grande Source"

The spring has been named the "Grande Source": "Remarkably pure, crystal-clear water, filtered through the rocks, it has a subtle bluish tint when the water is deep, especially in oblique lighting, like an aquamarine gem. It never leaves any unpleasant scent behind. It also has no bad taste: it has a dull, metallic, slightly tonic hint" (according to Dr Joly). It is acidic water that guarantees health: it eliminates many microbes. It flows at a rate of 48 m³ per hour, and the water emerges at 25 °C.

Scientific explanations...

An ancient theory attributes the origin of the thermal waters to the distillation of rocks (particularly granite) through the compression and contact of the molten inner structure of the Earth. These waters then rose through cracks, and became the early waters.

According to a more recent theory, the waters trickled down and then rose up through cracks after a journey that may have lasted thousands of years. These are meteoric waters, and the Bagnoles waters are said to belong to this category.

A 12-metre deep well has been dug. Each time the spring is accessed, the traces of the last person to use it are carefully removed and cleaned away. The waters are pumped and continually "irrigate" the whole installation by gravitation. Unlike neighbouring springs, the flow of the Grande Source never varies during dry periods. It never slows down or stops. This would suggest that the water comes from far away, both in terms of depth and time. Apart from its medicinal effect, the quantity and quality of the water are the key to Bagnole's success.

Discover the full story of the Bagnoles waters in Jean-Marie Foubert's work, "Bagnoles de l'Orne – médecine, santé, nature" ("Bagnoles de l'Orne – medicine, health, nature").

The Library
Espace detenteAccueil BO ResidenceJeux de CasinoCasino de la stationChapelle St OrtaireChateau de CarrougesFacade BO RestaurantFacade BO ThermesTerrasse BO RestaurantLe lacTournoi GolfMarche NordiqueChambre BO ResidenceBO Restaurant