But that was before …
From air ...
Before the water, there was the air. In Volvic, since the end of the 19th century, while the thermalism settled in the neighbouring area, in Châtel-Guyon, people came to take air… cures. It was rather economical : it was sufficient to breathe. The Hôtel du Commerce of this beautiful time showed it off on its façade and added to its autopromotion the luxurious presence within the hotel of a garage with a pit (cf. photo).
Honourable house known to welcome the travellers but also the family festivities, the hotel will live its biggest tragedy during the Second World War. For its commitment to the French Resistance, the Martinon family, owner of the place, will be deported with other inhabitants of Volvic after the destruction of the headquarters of the 1st Auvergne Corps Franc by the Wehrmacht on March 1st, 1944 (photo plaque). Totally burnt down during these events, the Hôtel has been rebuilt in 1946.
… To water
It is hard to believe today, but in bygone days Volvic suffered from a cruel lack of water. It was to supply to the population, but also to facilitate the work of the quarymen and stone carvers, that the serious explorations have started at the beginning of the 20th entury. The Medicine Academy will recognize the virtues of natural mineral water at some of these sources in 1955. Which will soon lead to the international reputation of Volvic. It is to be noted that the Volvic water is one of the rare natural mineral waters that is not set against a thermal spa. It has to be said, and quoting one of the contractors who have launched the industrialization of the precious liquid, that it mainly treats…the thirst.
Since its resurrection after the war, the Hôtel du Commerce and its different operators have followed the evolution of the water society, today in the bosom of the Danone group. Since the spring of 2016, the water, suitably bottled, is again present on the tables of the local catering.