DRAC Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, protections for historic monuments 2022 - 2nd quarter
9.ABREST (03) – Sources of the Dome and the Lily
The thermal springs of the Dome and Lys belong to the thermal heritage of Vichy and are the only ones that have preserved their original arrangements.
- early 20th century -
Historic Monuments Registration July 26, 2022 of the sources of the Dome and the Lily located path of the ponds in Abrest
© C.RAFLIN DRAC Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
If the thermal springs of Vichy are known since the Gallo-Roman period and especially put into activity in the nineteenth century, it is the whole Vichys basin that is rich in thermal waters, with recognized therapeutic indications. In the years 1870-1890, a wave of new drilling was undertaken according to private initiatives, reaching all the neighbouring municipalities of Vichy: a real «war of sources» was established between their initiators, who hoped to obtain substantial revenues. Very many sources are allowed, even if not all then know exploitation.
In 1898, Mr. Francisque David, a velvet merchant from Saint-Etienne, began drilling a spring in Abrest, in the hamlet of the Tower, on the left bank of the Allier. Drilled at a depth of 159 metres, it is called the source of the thermal dome. These very hot waters, springing at 65.4°, were originally used for the baths in the first class spa, then were exploited as a drink - bottling being done next door - and currently for the manufacture of sludge used in the Vichy baths.
In 1900, F. David made two other surveys, giving birth to the sources of the Lys and Cornélie. All three sources were integrated into the state domain in 1927.
Improvements to the sources of the Dome and Lily have been made to house their emergence and facilitate their access. The gushing of water was conducted inside a basin. These stone basins are completely covered with secretions that result from the deposit of calcium carbonate concretions due to the emanation of the carbon dioxide contained in the water. They are stained by deposits of orange iron oxide and green micro-algae. A strong sulfur-scented vapour emanates from them.
The source of the Dome is sheltered by a kiosk shaped octagonal, according to a model very similar to that of the bandstands built at the time in the public parks and squares: above a masonry base, Fabricated metal posts support the metal and zinc-covered wood frame roof. The source of the Lily has been the subject of a simpler and uncovered development.