The rise of naturism in France

  • 1903 - S. Gay creates in France a naturist colony in Bois-Fourgon.

  • 1907 - the Legree abbot, with the agreement of his superiors, takes along his pupils to bathe without swimsuit in the Marseilles creeks.

  • 1920 - Creation of Sparta Club, first naturist club, by Kienné de Mongeot (abbot at the nudists) and Yvan de Laval.

  • 1922 - Jacques Demarquette founds naturist camp in Chevreuse.

  • 1930 - 2 doctors, Andre and Gaston Durville, open a center in the Island of Platais (Physiopolis) where the 1st nudist congress was held. At the time, the naturist clubs practise therapies based on the healing virtues of the sun, of the sea and the wind, nudity being the best means to enter in contact with these elements. Hydrotherapy was recommended by Doctor Carton (naturist Lesson and treatments practise 1936), founder of the Naturiste review.

  • 1931 - Creation of the CGF: Club gymnic of France at Villecresnes, which perdure nowadays.

  • 1932 - Creation of the Heliopolis center on Île du Levant

  • 1936 - Léo Lagrange (1st under-secretary of State to the Sports and Leisures), recognizes officially the utility of the naturist movement.

  • 1944 - Albert Lecocq (Frank mason) and his wife, Christiane, create the Club du Soleil thanks to l'apport Sections "Vivre" of Mongeot; with the idea of a club for each city, a ground for each club.

  • 1949 - They open the great center of naturist holidays: the Center héliomarin (CHM) of Montalivet on the Aquitanian littoral.

  • 1950 - French federation of naturism (FFN) is founded.

  • 1953 - Creation in Montalivet of the international naturist Federation (INF-FNI) which gathers the Federations of all countries recognized for their practice of familial and organized naturism.

  • 1960s - Tens of centers naturist are created everywhere in France. Militants leave their employment and launch out in the adventure, clearers and managers of small centers, they attract towards them the naturist families in search a simple and natural life.

  • 1961 - Opening of Héliomonde (Essonne) the largest naturist ground in d’Île-de-France (47 ha) in the old sandstone career from where the paving stones were extracted for Paris. Members of the Volley ball french team involve themselves there. The sport, in gymnic behaviour, holds a great place then. The Cortey challenge sends the best sportsmen of the clubs in tournaments for meetings in France and other countries (swimming, archery, table tennis, volleyball).

The need for a centralized management brings the creation of a finance company of the holidays centers: the Soc-Nat manages then the CHM Montalivet, the Genesis, le Ran du Chabrier, Héliomonde. Then El Portus in Spain.


  • 1970s - The welcoming capacity of the naturists in Aquitaine is saturated. One obtains the authorizations for the creation of a second and vaster Centre of holidays in the edge of sea.

  • 1974 - Adoption of the international definition of naturism: « naturism is a manner of living in harmony with the nature, characterized by a practice of the joint nudity the purpose of which is to support the self-respect, the respect of the others and the environment ».

  • 1975 - Opening of EURONAT.

  • 1983 - The French naturist movement, by its Federation, the FFN, is recognized youth movement and popular education by the ministry for Youth and the sports. The social life of some was simplified, naturism being standardized, the inherent professional problems disappeared. Public swimming pools open time crenels with the practise a little everywhere. The FFN then formed its own frameworks by specialized BAFA "naturist" and set up its section Jeunes ALIZEE. Those animated the summer's activities of the young children of the holidays centers and offered spectacles. In Paris, the municipality opens to a time crenel with the naturists at the Roger Le Gall swimming pool. In province also the naturists obtain public swimming pools one day of opening. Saunas reserve a time crenel to them. The helping fashion, from the establishments of comfort emerge: Thalasso with Euronat, balneotherapy with the CHM and Bélézy; attracting diversified customers.

  • 1993 - The House of naturism opens in Paris.


Today


In the years 1950, France counted less than 5 naturist centers and camp-site. In 2006, they are more than 50 of all sizes, from the small family center accomodating a few tens of people to the great centers of edge of sea which receive several thousands of people as in the Cape d'Agde. The French Federation of naturism (FFN) gathers 150 clubs with the last census of April 2006.


The naturist presence strongest is on the Aquitanian littoral: currently, there is on the Côte d’ArgentThe naturist presence strongest is on the Aquitanian littoral: currently, there is on the Money Coast as many naturist bathers bathers in shirts. First, and the vastest naturist centers are on this part of the Atlantique coast: Montalivet (common of Vendays-Montalivet), Euronat (commune of Grayan-and-l'Hôpital), Arnaoutchot (commune of Vielle-Saint-Girons), the Jenny (common of Porge).


The littoral of Languedoc-Roussillon knows also a strong naturist presence, in particular around Port Leucate (Aude) and Cape d'Agde (Herault).


No the naturist center on the Côte d’Azur, where natural landscape s'est rarefied under the concrete, but there are some small centers in l'arrière-country (Puget-Théniers) and of vaster on the coasts of Corsica. There are still some naturist beaches, in particular in the Cape Taillat (commune of Ramatuelle, in the Var), thanks to the Academy of the littoral which saved this sector. It should be noted that the Marseilles creeks are attended by the naturists since 1929.


The famous one and splendid Île du Levant has a naturist village, Héliopolis, opened with all the public ones. In Héliopolis, the edge of the sea must imperatively remain free and accessible to all, no privatization of the littoral band is accepted. In XXI century, this naturist principle and ecologist remain always in force there, contrasting with the invading concrete of the littoral of the Côte d'Azur. The naturist joint owners d'Héliopolis have "cold" with their expenses a vast woodland, where any construction is prohibited, which constitutes a natural reserve open to the public.


Years 2000 see emerging the unauthorized practice of the naked hike. The simple one strolls in forest with more sporting excursions in mountainous or broken zones, it was to combine the feeling of wellbeing caused by nudity with discovered corners of nature. C'est thus a wild form of naturism which develops out of the authorized centers, even if those can be used as lodging place or starting point.


Definition :: The begins of naturism :: Naturism during the war
Naturism in France