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Divonne-les-Bains

3.3
Historic Sites · Bodies of Water · Thermal Spas
Divvonne-les-Bains is a commune in the department of Ain in eastern France.Divonne-les-Bains is a spa town situated on the border with French-speaking Switzerland, between the foot of the Jura mountains and Lake Geneva. It is situated in the Pays de Gex, about eight km from Gex, from which the area takes its name. Divonne is about 20 km from Geneva to the south-west and 10 km from Nyon to the east. Since 2012 Divonne forms part of a wider agglomeration known as Grand Genève.A short way above the town there are several springs, which were exploited in the 19th century to provide spa facilities for which Divonne became renowned. The golf course was built in the 1930s. Many of its present-day amenities - casino, hippodrome, open air swimming pool and artificial lake (Lac de Divonne) - were built after 1945. The Casino de Divonne was opened in 1954. A cultural centre by the lake (L'Esplanade du lac) was completed in 2005. Divonne used to host a small chamber music festival every summer, centred on its tiny theatre and the Domaine de Divonne. The Chateau of Divonne, now a luxury hotel, suffered a serious fire in January 2017, and is currently being rebuilt.There is a lively market on Sundays and a succession of cultural and sporting events throughout the year.Origin of the name DivonneA number of etymologies are suggested:1) Divona, Devona - the name of a Gaulish goddess of a sacred spring providing water for the city that is now Bordeaux, invoked in a 4th-century Latin poem by Ausonius. The Latin quatrain was engraved on a stone tablet above a spring at Divonne in the nineteenth century by persons erroneously supposing that Divonne was referred to. It can still be seen near the Casino.
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