It is necessary to go back to 1092 to find mention of the town of Royan, a small active port coveted for its position at the entrance to the mouth of the Gironde. It came under English rule after the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine to Henry II Plantagenet. During the Wars of Religion, Catholics and then Protestants took control of it until its destiny changed for the first time at the beginning of the 17th century, when the Duke of Epernon's troops razed it completely. This sentence was accompanied by a ban on rebuilding on the site, which plunged the city into oblivion. It is the appearance of the first "bathers", from 1830, which will save Royan for the first time. In 1845, the first casino was built on the hillock of Foncillon. The parks of Pontaillac and Saint-Georges-de-Didonne were built, and sumptuous villas were built. The arrival of the first passenger train in 1875 and the construction of the largest casino in France in 1883 were further boosts to the town's development, which became a meeting place for the Parisian elite, from the Rothschilds to the Prince of Wales, from Sarah Bernhardt to Daudet. The fabulous success of Royan seemed to have no end until the eve of the Second World War, when the city was destroyed once again by bombing. Today, Royan, a town of 18,000 inhabitants, is a popular seaside resort. With its casino and its long beaches, a post-war architecture combining concrete, iron, glass, modernism and geometry, the capital of the Côte de Beauté ignores its tragic past.

The must-see places in Royan

Prepare for your trip Royan

  • Book a train
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  • Find a hotel
  • Holiday rental
  • Airbnb rental
  • Tailor-made trip
Services / On site
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  • Book a table
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Pictures Royan

To discover on Petit Futé