©Soleil sur le lac de Bagnoles de l'Orne et le Casino|Image par Coeur

Bagnoles' Lake

A reflecting pool in the heart of the town

The history of Bagnoles is intimately linked with its lake. Man-made in the 17th century, it remains a symbol of well-being and relaxation. Bagnoles de l’Orne’s lake is now the scene of many leisure activities for the whole family.

Relaxing by the lake

Located on the edge of the Forêt des Andaines, the Lac de Bagnoles is in a natural setting that is perfect for relaxation and refreshment. It makes for a lovely nature walk just a stone’s throw from the spa. At the beginning of spring, the birds arrive to nest and take advantage of the peaceful waters of Bagnoles.

A footbridge at the mouth of the river Vée enables pedestrians to look out over the lake and enjoy the reflections of the architecture and vegetation. Wooden piers enable you to get closer to the water and admire the water lilies and irises that ornament the banks.

The restaurant of Bagnoles de l’Orne’s famous waterside casino has splendid panoramic views over the lake. A little further away, you can also enjoy views from the terraces of the Café de Paris or the restaurant of the Béryl Spa hotel.

on the lake on a pedalo

In summer, there are various activities on Bagnoles’ Lake near the casino. How about hiring a pedalo for a trip on the lake? It’s the perfect opportunity to get closer to the water gardens that bloom, as if by magic, on the surface of the water.

As soon as the sun comes out, pedalos are a fun way to get out on the water and cross Bagnoles de l’Orne’s lake. These little two-person boats are a quiet way to enjoy a memorable and relaxing time on the lake with family.

The origin of Bagnoles’ lake

The Bagnoles’ lake was created from scratch in 1611 to provide water to a large iron foundry. At this time, it was located in the middle of the forest and covered an area of 17 acres, so double its current size.

In 1811 there was a terrible storm over Bagnoles, the lake flooded and the dam and the foundry were destroyed. As it no longer had any economic use, the lake gradually became a leisure asset for the town.

And so, architectural treasures began to appear on the banks of the lake, including the Grand Hôtel and the new Belle Epoque Quarter that was built at the end of the 19th century.

Frank Jay Gould, benefactor of the lake

In the 1920s an American billionaire called Frank Jay Gould fell in love with Bagnoles. This heir to one of the largest railway companies decided to live here and intended to launch several holiday ventures at the heart of the spa resort.

In 1927 he bought the Grand Hôtel, a luxurious establishment frequented by royalty. He redesigned the contours of the lake and planted pleasure gardens on the banks with French-style rose gardens.

He even decided to create a second casino, the Casino du Lac. His plan was to develop luxury tourism and thus to attract the bourgeoisie, who would contribute to the fame of Bagnoles de l’Orne.