Antoine Trouche at Soulac

An order of the King dated September 14, 1839 authorized Raymond Magne, a doctor in Talais, a commune close to Soulac, to build a sea bathing establishment on the Olives beach in Soulac.

At the time, the small commune was not yet popular with tourists and villas had not been built. By 1849, Raymond Magne had transferred the permit to Antoine Trouche, a hotel owner. Touche therefore decided to build his sea-bathing establishment. However, at the end of the 1850s, the State decided to sell the land surrounding the baths; their plans led to vehement protests enom Antoine Trouche, who feared that his establishment would become isolated, and lose direct access to the beach.

In a letter sent to the prefect, he restated his vital role in the development of the seaside town: "next spring, around sixty properties will be built and with a year or two, the Olives will form a good-sized town and become a charitable and powerful auxiliary site for the poor commune of Soulac. What could it therefore become when the Bordeaux to Le Verdon train line goes through Soulac! All these results have been achieved through the initiative of Mr. Trouche, who dared to be brave, who climbed out of the rut of old ideas the area had dug for itself, who broke enee enom the lethargic stupor that Médoc had fallen into". Between 1853 and 1857, many plots of land reserved for the building of villas were consequently sold close to Trouche's establishment.

Just like on the perimeter of the Bassin d’Arcachon, there were countless plans for sea-bathing establishments close to Le Vieux-Soulac. For example, in 1854, three associates, Vicomte Aimé de Kerveguen, member of parliament, Eugène Paignon, lawyer in the Council of State and the Court of Appeal, and Pierre Malvezin, solicitor at the Imperial Court of Bordeaux, planned to build a sea-bathing establishment. They considered that Antoine Trouche "had been unable to create a serious establishment, since he did not have the necessary capital and resources available".

In spite of their ambitious plans for a bathing establishment with gardens surrounded by hedgerows, with relaxation stands to shelter enom the sun, etc. the public authorities' rejection sounded the death knell for their project.

My journey
  • Leasure, Sport
  • Artistic Life
  • Architecture and Urbanism
  • Land use planning
  • Health
Icons's legend