Stage town for the first time

Municipality in Creuse (21)

Population: 1,400 (Évahoniens, Évahoniennes), 16,600 in the 42 communes of the Creuse Confluence Community of Communes

Specialities: thermal waters, cabossé du Limousin (a pâté made from different meats), baguette la Limousette, pastries (le Creusois, le Thermal, le Trépaïs), gâteau creusois, fondu creusois, apple pâté, Charroux mustard.

Personalities: Saint Marien (hermit), Charles-Armand Trépardoux (engineer, automobile pioneer), Gustave Eiffel (Tardes viaduct), François-Xavier Demaison (actor). 

Sport: Tour de l'Avenir, cycling criterium.

Economy: thermal baths, tourism, commerce.  

Festivals: Virada creusoise (June) / Rock and motorbike festival (July) / Banda Flors Festival (August) / Bread, wine and cheese festival (September). 

Labels: Ville à Vélo du Tour de France / Territoire BIO Engagé / Petites Villes de Demain / Route of Massif central Spa Towns/ Ville fleurie (1) / Green resort.

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A cycling fan, the mayor of Évaux-les-Bains took the initiative in 2022 of organising an exhibition on Raymond Poulidor, a native of Creuse. This exhibition was coupled with another devoted to the photos of Bernard Charlet, the legendary photographer of France-Soir and numerous Tours de France, who died in 2023. Christian Prudhomme was present at this exhibition, where he presented the Raymond Poulidor Challenge, and there is little doubt that the idea of a stage in the Tour was discussed at the time. Evaux-les-Bains has already organised a stage of the Tour de l'Avenir in 2023, which started in Aigurande and was won by Swiss rider Fabio Christen. In July, the town organises an agricultural and rural criterium, initiated by former Tour announcer Daniel Mangeas. 


  • Remains of the Roman baths

Construction: 1st century.

Style: Roman.

History: the baths and gallery were probably built in the second half of the first century AD. They were destroyed by fire in the 3rd century (after 260). The western part was probably restored and brought back into use in the fourth century.

Characteristics: the thermal baths have been famous since Antiquity for treating venous insufficiency, as shown by a bronze peg dedicated by a legionnaire bearing the inscription "I thank Evaux for having cured my leg ailments". The thermal baths covered an area of around 25 hectares. Embedded between the cliffs, they form a square building that is accessed via a 600-m long gallery, 6.70-m wide, which leads to an inner courtyard where the monumental façade of the building is located. It probably began on the site of the church, where there must have been a temple. The northern part of the building contains large, richly decorated pools. The rooms to the east of the courtyard contain baths. The rooms with apses to the south, where very hot springs (60 degrees) gushed out, are thought to have been steam baths. A 17 km underground aqueduct supplied drinking water from the Valazière springs.

Listed as: Historical Monument since 1840.  

  • Grand Hôtel thermal

Construction: 19th to 21st centuries.

History: The spa, which had been abandoned since the 5th century, took off again in the mid-19th century with the construction of the current spa and its Grand Hotel between 1838 and 1847. The Société des Bains stimulated new economic activity in Evaux at a time when the ancient Roman thermal baths, rediscovered thanks to excavations, were included in the first list of Historical Monuments in 1840. During the First World War, many wounded soldiers convalesced at the Grand Hotel. During the Second World War, an internment camp was opened at Évaux-les-Bains. Trade unionist Léon Jouhaux, future Nobel Peace Prize winner, Edouard Herriot, former mayor of Lyon and president of the Chamber of Deputies, and a dozen other prominent figures were interned there and liberated by the Resistance in 1944. 

Today's destination: constantly redesigned over the years to adapt to the needs of spa visitors, the Grand Hotel and spa complex received a final facelift in 2022 and reopened in 2023 with the ambition of attracting a high-end clientele.   

  • Valley of the Painters

A breath-taking landscape, a place of a thousand colours and, above all, a place steeped in history, that of the Impressionist painters: Claude Monet, Armand Guillaumin and Picabia were all drawn to this valley. A unique setting where culture and outdoor activities come together: the Crozant fortress to admire the view, the Hôtel Lépinat to discover the history of the painters and original paintings.  

  • International Cité of Tapestry

The Cité has taken over the former École Nationale d'Art Décoratif (National Art Décoratif School) in Aubusson. It's no coincidence that this building, dedicated to craftsmanship, has become the temple of a world-famous art form, listed as an intangible heritage site by UNESCO. The Cité has opened up to international and contemporary influences, with creations based on the works of Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit) and the imagination of Miyazaki (Studio Ghibli).  

  • Chambon sur Voueize /étang des Landes

This remarkable village in the heart of the Tardes valley is built around the imposing Romanesque abbey church of Sainte Valérie. Nearby is the 100-hectare lake of Les Landes, a national nature reserve that is home to over 400 plant species and 600 animal species.  

  • Tardes viaduct

Construction: 1882-1885

Style: Eiffel.

Characteristics: The Tardes viaduct is a disused railway viaduct that crosses the Tardes, a tributary of the Cher, between Évaux-les-Bains and Budelière. 250.50-m long and 91.33-m high, the viaduct consists of an iron cross deck supported by masonry piers.

History: It was designed and built between 1882 and 1885 by the company Les Constructions métalliques et entreprises générales de travaux publics de Levallois-Perret, headed by Gustave Eiffel. Engineer Daigremont was the director of works. He built the single track of the Bourges to Miécaze line, on which trains ran between Paris, Ussel and Aurillac. Since March 2008, no trains have run on this line.

Listed as: Historical Monument since 1975.


  • Gâteau creusois (Creuse cake)

Legend has it that the recipe comes from a 15th-century parchment discovered during work in 1969 in the former Grandmont monastery in the commune of La Mazière-aux-Bons-Hommes, in the canton of Crocq. Written in Old French, it was later translated. In particular, the cake was said to be "cuit en tuile creuse" ("baked in a hollow tile"), an expression that gave it its name. A facsimile of this parchment can now be seen at the tourist office in Crocq. The Creuse confectioners' union came up with the idea of reviving the cake and making it a speciality of the department. Today, the exact recipe is known only to the 31 confectioners belonging to the "Le Creusois" association, the only ones authorised to make this pure butter hazelnut cake sold with this label. For a homemade recipe, you'll need equal parts sugar, flour, butter, hazelnut powder, egg whites and a sachet of vanilla sugar.

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