And Morny created Deauville...
Who could have imagined in 1858 that the little Normandy village and the marshes called “Dosville”, built on the slope around the Saint Laurent church, would become an internationally famous resort ?
It was that the visionary, Auguste de Morny, while on holiday in Trouville at Doctor Olliffe’s house, looked with envy over the neighbouring marshlands. Half-brother of Napoleon the Third, this politician and financier was one of the major figures of Parisian life at the time.
The two men got together with the banker, Donon, and the architect, Breney, to create “a kingdom of elegance”, near Paris.
Deauville came out of the sand between 1860 and 1864 with its first villas, a hippodrome – Morny was a lover of horses – and a train link to Paris.
DEAUVILLE THE MUSE
In 1911, a meeting between two men gave Deauville a new lease of life. Désiré Le Hoc, Mayor of the town and Eugène Cornuché, who managed the famous Maxim’s restaurant in Paris, boosted the town’s activity by building the casino in 1912 and the major hotels (the Normandy in 1912 and the Royal in 1913). The biggest names in the business and political world hurried to Deauville; this was the “Belle Époque”.
The town also inspired many artists such as Coco Chanel, who opened one of her first boutiques there, the already famous couturier, Paul Poiret, a number of painters like Dufy, Fujita, Van Dongen, writers, poets, and caricaturists like Apollinaire, Sacha Guitry, Colette, Sem, etc. This craze for Deauville continued throughout the “Golden Twenties”. The seaside resort continued to expand: a second hippodrome in 1928, the Hôtel du Golf and its golf course in 1929, the airport in 1931, and so on.
After the Second World War, Deauville continued to improve and started to receive visitors all year round. Short weekend breaks became frequent and the town started to receive more and more international guests. In 1962, Michel d’Ornano became mayor and Lucien Barrière succeeded his uncle, François André, at the head of the major hotels and the casino. Together, they continued the resort’s development: construction of the Olympic-size seawater swimming pool, a thalassotherapy centre, etc.