Perched on the hilltops of Evian, the Mateirons district with its stunning villas symbolises Evian’s development during the advent of balneology.
The history of the Mateirons district
The Mateirons district was founded in 1911 in the wake of the construction of the major Belle Epoque hotels like Le Royal and L’Ermitage. Holiday resorts have been fashionable since the late 19th century and were introduced in Evian with the rise of health cures. The Mateirons area was central to the development of the spa resort, and was gradually built up with villas owned by the wealthy people who flocked here to take the waters. Some thirty such buildings still attest to this rich legacy today. The specifications for the housing scheme filed with a notary in 1911 still applies today, prohibiting the construction of collective housing and works during the summer so as to preserve the peaceful environment.
Mateirons: architectural characteristics
The Mateirons district is characterised by its imposing villas that afford clear views over Lake Geneva, the Dent d'Oche mountain and the Montagne des Mémises. The regionalist style of the early 20th century featured in most of the residences in Mateirons is inspired by various architectural styles that showcase rural traditions like English cottages, Swiss chalets, and neo-Norman, neo-Gothic and neo-Basque styles. The landscaping of the housing development is also carefully designed with wooded parks that have been remarkably well-maintained for several decades and magnificent gardens. More than just a residential neighbourhood, Mateirons is a place to enjoy walks among the tall larches and admire the varied architecture.
Around the Mateirons area
The Mateirons district is just a few minutes’ drive from the centre of Evian and its conveniences. Within easy walking distance of the 5* hotel Le Royal with its Michelin-starred restaurant since 2018, and the 4* hotels L'Ermitage and La Verniaz with their renowned and restaurants and brunch. The funicular, inaugurated in 1912 then re-opened in 2002 following full renovation, arrives at the foot of the Mateirons area, offering a smooth connection to the town centre as well as refreshments and the opportunity to appreciate the mechanic ingenuity of the machine room. Music lovers can head to La Grange au Lac which hosts around fifty concerts per year with major highlights like the famous Rencontres Musicales d'Evian festival. Sports enthusiasts will also find something for them at the equestrian centre and the tennis club, both within the immediate vicinity.