Aquae Gratianae


[eks-ley-ban; Eng. eyks-ley-beynz]

Aix-les-Bains is a commune in the Savoie department in southeastern France. It lies near the Lac du Bourget, 9 km by rail north of Chambéry.


Aix-les-Bains is located in the Savoie département, in the Rhône-Alpes région. It is a commune and a chef lieu de canton of the département.


Aix derives from Latin Aquae (literally, "waters"; cf Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen) or Aix-en-Provence), and Aix was a bath during the Roman Empire, even before it was renamed Aquae Gratianae to commemorate the Emperor Gratian, who was assassinated not far away, in Lyon, in 383. Numerous Roman remains survive.


The town lies at an altitude of about 250m and stretches along the eastern end of the beautiful Lac du Bourget and up the slopes above the lake that culminate in the Tour de L'Angle Est that overlooks the town and lake at a height of 1562m. The western shore of the lake is narrower as the mountains along its edge are closer to the lakeshore, although lower than those on the eastern side. The lake drains out of its northern end into the Rhone river about 5km to the north. Aix Les Bains is situated in the hilly country of the Bugey that makes up the foothills of the Alps and also forms part of the lower western extension of the Jura Mountains.

Notable births


The hot sulfur springs, have a temperature of from 109° to 113°F (43-45 °C), are still much frequented, attracting annually many thousands of visitors. They are used for drinking as well as for hydrotherapy. The water can get hot enough to burn the skin.

Motor sports

From 1949 to 1961, Aix les Bains had a temporary race track, called Circuit du Lac (lake race track), that received different events: Grand-Prix Formula 2, Formula Junior and Grand-Prix Motorcycle. Being close to Switzerland and Italy these events always received international audience.

Twin towns

Aix Les Bains is twinned with:


External links

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