Skip to main content

Guided tour : Royan, the 50s Modernist architecture sea-resort

Duration: 4 Hours
From: Royan
To: Royan
Languages: French, English
Group size 1 - 45 people
Max group size: 1
Transportation: Walking Tours
Royan attracts 700,000 tourists every year but it is undoubtly a real laboratory of urbanism from the 1950s! Destroyed by more than 80% by the bombings of World War II, it was completely rebuilt.

What to see in Royan?

Royan was a very fashionable and highly sought-after seaside resort among the great names of culture during the "Belle Époque" and the "Roaring Twenties". Despite the destruction caused by the Allied bombings of World War II, the city's architectural heritage has left us with some sumptuous villas characteristic of that era. You can admire them along Boulevard Frédéric Garnier.

But our visit will focus more on discovering the modernist spirit of many private villas in this famous seaside resort. Here, civil architecture is imbued with the innovations of Brazilian architecture of that time. More than a postcard, the city is the flagship of the "fifties" style. Now it is awarded as "City of Art and History" alongside Lorient, Brest, or Le Havre, which were also destroyed between 1943 and 1945 and then rebuilt according to other aesthetic standards.

We will linger on the bold lines of the architecture combined with exotic ambiances, reflecting a time of hope and reconstruction.

The impressive Notre-Dame de Royan Church

This church was built from 1955 to 1958 by the architect Guillaume Gillet, Grand Prix de Rome. Made of raw reinforced concrete, it fully embodies the movement of the renewal of sacred art in the post-war years. Full of verticality, this monument is the emblem of Royan, destroyed but still there, "still standing facing the sea"!

From / per person



Need help booking? Talk to us!
Important information
  • The services of a licensed tour guide for a guided tour up to 3 hours
  • Personal expenses
  • Transportation with your own coach
  • Entrance fees in monuments or museums