Would you like a private tour of Bandol? Make yourself comfortable in your sofa, armchair or even hammock, breathe and let yourself be enchanted by the fascinating history of our beautiful city.


The bust of Alfred Vivien

Our tour starts right in front of the Office, with the bust of Alfred Vivien (1832 - 1909). This character was in charge of the Bandol boarding school from 1860 to 1880. Elected Mayor in 1881, Alfred Vivien will remain the town's first magistrate until 1902. A bust was sculpted in his honor by Millin de Grandmaison in 1910. During the war, in December 1941, the bust was removed by strangers to recover the bronze metal. Octave Maurel, then Mayor, decided in June 1949 to replace it with a Carrara marble bust sculpted by the Marseille statuary Paul Gondard. To learn more, listen to the audio below:


The Fleury Linossier kiosk

The bandstand was built in 1933 by the company Girardi frères, masonry contractors in Bandol, according to plans drawn up by Fleury Linossier. It was inaugurated on June 4, 1933, the day of Pentecost, by Octave Maurel who delivered a speech in these terms: “ In our beautiful country where everything sings, the public must be able to hear good music in an imposing calm.. This justifies our decision to have this building built in a setting so worthy of musical art ”.


Beau Rivage hotel

This hotel, built towards the end of the 1900th century and inaugurated in 14, received many celebrities: Thomas Mann, DH Lawrence, Aldous Huxley… including Katherine Mansfield. Kathleen Beauchamp was born October 1888, 1903 in Wellington, New Zealand and published her first text at the age of nine. From XNUMX she will write under the name of her grandmother Katherine mansfield. In October 1915, to escape the distress caused by the death of her brother Leslie on the French front, she left London, made a stopover in Cassis then moved to the Beau Rivage hotel.


The Prud'homie of fishermen

Fishermen's Prud'homie is a jurisdictional professional fishing institution created in Antibes, Bandol and Sanary by Royal Ordinance of April 4, 1792 signed by Louis XVI. The first traces of the organization of fishing in the Mediterranean come in part from the archives of the Prud'homie de Marseille where the letters patent of 1452 and 1477 of King René Comte de Provence are recorded, confirmed in 1481 by King Louis XI, establishing a professional fishing jurisdiction under the name of Prud'homies.


Development of the port and the large jetty

From 1752 the municipal council chaired by Simon Cay, Mayor, deliberated for build a real mole for the embarkation and disembarkation of goods. The construction of the large jetty will not finally begin until 1847. The boulders will be extracted from two quarries located on the island of Bendor then transported by barges and by a small railway on stilts. Due to financial difficulties, the work was interrupted in 1850 and the jetty was ultimately only a breakwater parallel to the coast. From 1857 to 1858, under the aegis of Joseph Antoine Cayol, the jetty will finally be completed and connected to the mainland.


Bendor Island

Village créateurs Bendor Bandol Tourisme

The island of Bendor was bought in 1950 by the industrialist Paul Ricard, creator of the pastis of the same name. He baptizes it with its old name "Bendor". Originally, the island would have served as refuge from pirates and wreckers. It is then cultivated until the end of the 1950th century for the production of flowers - immortal and narcissus - then will be abandoned. From XNUMX, Paul Ricard transforms the port and builds the small village, hotels, museums (including the wine and spirits museum, inaugurated in 1958). Paul Ricard, painter in his spare time and passionate about art, wanted to make this island the meeting place for artists ... To learn more, listen to the audio below:


André Deferrari stadium

The Corniche municipal stadium was inaugurated in 1974 by Mayor François Fabre. It became the “André Deferrari Stadium” when the latter died in 1977 at the age of 57. It was a spontaneous homage from the town to the one everyone knew by the nickname "Dédé". Everyone had dealt with the amiable teacher, the irreplaceable animator of the Union Sportive Bandolaise or USB, the disinterested municipal councilor, the tireless secretary of so many companies, the simple and good man, always ready to help. To learn more, listen to the audio below:


The rise of the Castle

Antoine Boyer's castle is built in 1610, the year of the coronation of Queen Marie de Médicis in the Saint-Denis basilica and the assassination of her husband Henri IV. When Bandol separated from its mother commune La Cadière in 1715, the castle became not only the residence of the Boyer De Foresta and the defensive bastion of the land, but also the seat of administration, justice, religion and management of the newly created village. Abandoned over the years, the ruins of the castle were completely demolished in 1795.


Place du Château

In 1594, on the instruction of the Duke of Épernon, Antoine Boyer built Fort Bandol on approximately 3 hectares of the La Motte peninsula. It is the only truly historical vestige of the village. We can still see, surrounded by villas and gardens, a corner tower and two sides of the surrounding wall. A villa still contains on its land the 12m deep well which was located in the center of the platform of the fort. To learn more, listen to the audio below:


The beach of Renècros or Rènecros

There has obviously never been a Mr René Cros owner of land nearby. The origin of the name of the beach could come either from the contraction of "arenas" and "cros" meaning sandy cove, either in Provençal, of "rena" meaning to growl, to growl, which with "cros" gives "the grunt handle"… Allusion to the sound of the sea, especially in swell weather, beating the walls of the properties bordering it. As we see it today, the beach is the result of improvements made in 1965 under the mandate of François Fabre to retain the sand.


The windmill

Bandol in 1902, from the east of the port: The shipyard and the locker, the old mill and the attic.

When Lord François IIe de Boyer De Foresta obtained “the fiefdom” of Bandol in 1715, he undertook to build a windmill. for the use of the population and to collect the related taxes and levies. In the first place, to meet the urgent food needs a common oven is built where the inhabitants bake their bread. Then, the construction of the communal windmill is undertaken in the district of St Esprit on the eastern slope of the buttress of the rocky outcrop of the Motte, on the ground below the fort and the seigniorial castle. To learn more, listen to the audio below:


The Ile Rousse hotel

Its location was initially a pasture frequented by sheep and goats before becoming the property of Mistinguett who built his villa there: the villa “youp la la”. Subsequently, Mr. Bazot set up a multisports center there, a veritable institution frequented by young Bandolais and summer visitors. There was volleyball, table tennis, weight rooms, various games and even sun loungers for lazing around and sunbathing. In 1960, the Île Rousse hotel was built according to the plans of Fleury and Claude Linossier. To learn more, listen to the audio below:


Louis Lumière's “Lumen” villa

Louis Lumière facing the Bay of Bandol.

The characters who best launched Bandol were the people of the cinema. Among them Louis Lumière (1864 - 1948), the inventor of the cinematograph who, in 1895, filmed "the arrival of a train at La Ciotat station". He was an inventor, industrialist, artist, photographer, researcher ... And he chooses Bandol to end his life there. In September 1936, he bought from Mr. and Mrs. Souchon “les Ruines”, a baroque villa which he made “civilized” by building “Lumen”, his dwelling, and “Altra”, his laboratory and his cinema room in relief. . Some Bandolese remember "his giant build with a hunched back, his white hair, his bushy eyebrows" (R. Culioli). To learn more, listen to the audio below:


Villa "La Tartane"

Henri-Edouard Lombard (1855 - 1929), was a renowned sculptor who won the gold medal at the Universal Exhibition in 1900. Henri, Elise, his wife, and their daughter Annie, lived for many years in a romantic style villa "La Tartane", located on Boulevard Victor Hugo. The tartane is a characteristic sailing boat of the Mediterranean. Used for all purposes, the tartane sailed everywhere and more generally in the western basin. The "Tartane" is today the studio of architect Rudy Riccioti, Grand Prix National d'Architecture (2006), designer from MUCEM in Marseille (2002) and member of the Academy of Technologies (2014).


Villa "La Pinède"

This villa was occupied by Georges Bernanos (1888 - 1948), French writer, and his family in December 1945. He is best known for: “Sous le soleil de Satan” (1926), “Diary of a country priest” (1936), “The great cemeteries under the moon ”(1938) and“ The dialogue of the Carmelites ”(1948). In the 30s he first stayed in Mallorca and in the south of France, in Toulon then Hyères. After a long exile in Brazil, he is back in France with his family. The Bernanos settled in Briasq, near Sisteron then in Bandol at the villa “La Pinède”… Georges' writing base was then the Café de la Marine, facing the sea. One of the neighbors of "La Pinède" is none other than Raimu. Bernanos, who has great admiration for him, will often visit him.


Villa "La Ker Mocotte"

Villa bought in 1933 by Jules Auguste Muraire known as RAIMU (1883 - 1946). This holiday home where stone and wood, walls and trees mingle, he once baptized Ker Mocotte in reference to the Breton origin of his wife Esther. Ker in Breton means "a locality", or a house; "Les mocos" is the nickname given to the people of the south. Raimu became a famous actor thanks to Sacha Guitry in the 30s and thanks to Marcel Pagnol in the first half of the 40s. Around him in Bandol, they received his friends Henri Poupon, Charles Blavette, Edouard Delmont and Henri Vilbert. Pagnol was visiting him. He befriended Fernandel. The Bandolais admired these actors who lived and spoke like them and who brought to their city a smiling celebrity.


School group

The school group was housed in buildings constructed at the beginning of the XNUMXth century to welcome the new boarding school. This school will be inaugurated on October 8, 1908 in the presence of the President of the Council in person: Georges Clémenceau. It was reported in the local and national press. After the war, the financial difficulties of Bandol and the importance of the works forced the municipality to close the school in 1925. In 1935 the Mayor Octave Maurel, decided to rehabilitate the public school. The plans will be drawn up by the architect Fleury Linossier. On June 24, 1972 the school became the “Octave Maurel group”.


Héro & Léandre, place Lucien Grillon

This marble from sculptor Paul Gasq (1860 - 1944) representing Héro and Léandre appeared initially at the corner of rue Pierre Toesca and rue des Tonneliers (Boyer agency), then was transferred to Parc du Canet before being permanently installed on Place Lucien Grillon . The story of Hero and Leander belongs to Greek mythology. Hero, priestess of Aphrodite in Sestos, lit a lamp every night at the top of a tower to guide her lover Leander who joined her by swimming. One stormy evening the lamp went out and Leander drowned. Desperate, Hero threw herself from the tower after finding Leander's body on the shore.


The Ravezou gallery

Joseph Ravezou was born in Bandol on November 11, 1865 where he took drawing and music lessons. He became a teacher in 1882. In 1900, he met Cézanne during a visit to the Universal Exhibition in Paris devoted to impressionist painters and pointillists. He becomes Paul Cézanne's friend, with whom he painted at the “Black Castle” near Tholonet. Rouvéou was mainly a landscaper of the late seasons of Provence and especially of the Pays d'Aix. He died on December 22, 1925 in Aix-en-Provence. His works can be seen at the Granet Museum in Aix-en-Provence, in Marseille, Martigues and Paris. To learn more, listen to the audio below:


The Tholosan house

This large building was first a winery, owned by Henri Bergasse and Joseh Cahard. In 1875, after the phylloxera disaster, it was Isidore Brun, grand master cooper, who became the owner. In 1923, Isidore Brun's son sold the winery to the Tholosan family who went on to make one fresh and dried flower workshop as well as mortuary wreaths; many bandolaises were used there. In 1978, the Bandol town hall bought the Tholosan house and transformed it into a “house for all”. In 1981, this building was restructured into a Cultural Center; in 2017 it returned to its original function of “ house of associations ».


St François de Sales parish church

On March 25, 1746, the community of Bandol took the initiative to build at its own expense a chapel in the town. The works have started but no were completed in 1748 for lack of credit. They were entrusted to a young mason Joseph Suquet. The central part of the current church of Bandol is born: the building measures 34m long, 9m wide, 12m high, the dome of the choir rises to 16 m. The church, after being blessed on October 18, 1748 by Monsignor Henri de Belsunce, was erected under the name and title of St François de Sales by ordinance of June 5, 1751. The church "in its architectural form" has been classified as a historical monument since August 23, 1990.


Isidore Brun square

Here was the public wheat threshing area. If the vine, the wine, the cooperage are as many elements which contributed to the prosperity of Bandol, the wheat as for him, is essential to the life of the community. The harvest was done at the height of summer, with a sickle or a scythe. Everyone then went to the public area where they unloaded the sparks of wheat. Place de l'Aire has become then place “Isidore Brun”, Maître Tonnelier; the municipality wanted to honor the donor of this location to the municipality.


Le monastère

The old girls' school, opened in 1862, was run by the “Dames du Bon-Pasteur” at 6 rue de l'Immortelle (in the house called the Monastery - The courtyard occupied the site of the old grain-treading area of ​​seigneurial time which is now Place Isidore Brun). In 1884, the construction project being approved by the prefect, the girls' school will be built in the extension of the rue des Écoles (this is the building that was once called "old town hall" and which has become the media library. ). To learn more, listen to the audio below:


The covered well

The construction of this well dates back to 1776. The cadastre of rue du Dr Marçon from rue Voltaire indicates that Lord De Boyer owned the tithe house (today the Scotch restaurant), a cellar, an inn, a common oven, stables and the dovecote. . It was probably in this inn in the rue de la Bourgade that Bonaparte met Pons de l'Hérault in March 1794. Three months after the fall of Toulon, Bonaparte, newly appointed general of the artillery of the Midi, on an inspection tour in Bandol, is invited by Pons to taste a bouillabaisse. Memorable bouillabaisse since the emperor will speak about it again during his stay on the island of Elba ... what Pons relates in “Souvenirs and anecdotes from the island of Elba”.


The town hall

The current building was built in 1954 according to plans by Fleury Linossier at the original location. Until 1925, the previous building was a somewhat peculiar common house, since the Presbytery occupied the first floor and the Town Hall the ground floor. The Bistro du Port, attached to the Town Hall, was once a bar called "Le Suzy". It was frequented by Marcel Pagnol and his friends including Raimu, Poupon, Blavette, Maupi, Monti… At Suzy's we would sit down for a drink on the terrace during the day and dance in the evening. Tourists joined Toulonnais and Marseillais who came to have fun in Bandol because we also danced at Poupoune's and at the Pot d'Arrivée, at the Municipal Casino.


The "La Salière" fountain

Fountain composed of two marble conches separated in its center by a pointed pillar of which the whole is reminiscent of a salt shaker hence its name. Mayor Alfred Vivien, following a request from citizens, decided with his municipal council in 1895 to provide a source of water supply in addition to that of the public square. The fountain will be placed on the quay of the left-luggage office. In 1903, the “La Salière” fountain will be moved to the western point of the old castle road, which is now Boulevard Victor Hugo.


The war memorial

The committee for the erection of this monument is created January 16, 1919. His honorary president Nicholas Sergeyevich Galitzine. The latter, extremely rich prince of Russian origin, came to settle in Bandol with his family was a benefactor for the city. The sculptor Henri Lombard chose a Bandolaise as a model (Marguerite Olive); it turned into a winged and helmeted victory, hugging the stele on which are engraved the names of 64 soldiers who died for France during the 14-18 conflict. The monument will be inaugurated on September 4, 1921 by Maurice Charles, Mayor of the town, who for the occasion will deliver a magnificent speech in honor of the Poilus Bandolais.


The Municipal Casino

The history of this establishment begins in July 1923, after the classification of Bandol in climatic station. Real estate transactions will then multiply and lead in 1927 to the creation of the “Société du Casino Municipal de Bandol”. The Municipal Casino of Bandol will open its doors in July 1930. Besides the games - Boule, Roulette, Baccara - the Municipal Casino also had a large hall for dancing, and a cinema where the best films were played. The movie theater was turning into theater or auditorium for the end of year celebrations for all classes of the “Octave Maurel” school.

Without forgetting...

The Train Station

The land required for the creation of the Aubagne-Toulon section railway line was subject to an expropriation judgment by 14 may 1856. During two years from 1857 the activity of the port will be very important because of the construction of the railway and the viaduct. Indeed every day tons of rails, oak wood, bricks, are unloaded… Thus the port will participate in the construction of the railway who will subsequently be his competitor and finally his replacement. Bandol station was completed in 1858. To learn more, listen to the audio below:

The autonomous diver

If the Var happens to be the department of the historical cradle of diving, it is important to know that in June 1943, in full occupation, scuba diving was born in Bandol which thus becomes the city of discovery of the underwater world. Indeed and as it is related in the first pages of the legendary work by Jacques Yves Cousteau and Frédéric Dumas, "Le monde du silence", To which will be added Philippe Tailliez, the new autonomous diving suit developed in Paris with the engineer Emile Gagnan has just arrived at Bandol station. Those who would later become the Mousquemers then lived in the Villa Barry by the sea in the western part of the town. and will therefore choose this location to test the device. The results will be far beyond their expectations.

This Historical Route was carried out on the initiative of: Max Moutte - Historian of Cultural, Religious and Historical Heritage, biographer of local and corporate figures of the Municipality of Bandol. With the participation of Monique Rebuffat, Rose-Marie Grillon and Jean-Marie Schneider.