Deauville is a resort town in the Calvados region of the French province of Normandy, founded by the Duke de Morny. Back in the 11th century, Deauville was a fishing village. Back then, it was located up on a hill. In the 1860s, the Normandy coast became fashionable among the Imperial court and the Parisian bourgeoisie. This led to Deauville becoming a popular weekend and summer retreat for Parisians. The railway built in 1863 near the village in Trouville made Deauville reachable from Paris in six hours, which helped the cause as well. Today, Deauville features beautiful villas, Norman beaches, five-star hotels, a racetrack, grand casino, and a beautiful harbor and marina that makes it popular with the jet-setting crowd. Deauville’s nickname as the “21st arrondissement of Paris” is not surprising and quite fitting.
With its casino, Deauville attracts millions of gamblers every year. Its racetracks at Clairefontaine and La Touque cater more to the tastes of the resort’s visitors than the beach, evidenced by the larger audiences at the horse races than the regattas. Both, however, get their fair share. Most of the breeding for the horses actually takes place in the town’s surrounding countryside where you’ll find numerous stud farms.
The main attractions of Deauville in the summer include the Grand Prix, the International American Film Festival, and the sale of yearlings, an auction that takes place in mid-August.
Deauville’s villas and manor houses are pretentiously designed and decorated, ensuring a “fake Norman” look throughout town. But it’s not just the expensive real estate but also the streets’ line of exclusive shops that give Deauville an air of elitism. The joke among locals is that Frenchmen keep their wives in Deauville and their mistresses in Trouville, a neighboring working class village.
“Deauville.” < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deauville>
Gaudez, René, Hervé Champollion, and Angela Moyon. Tour of Normandy. Rennes: Éditions Ouest-France, 1996. ISBN: 2737317185.
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