You never tire of it.
Successive wars did not get the better of them. There are still three hundred of them standing and they are what make Wimereux so beautiful and well-known. All three hundred stunning villas were built during that great age of the seaside resort - the Belle Epoque! Located along the seafront and in the town centre, they tell of the history of the resort and its inhabitants in a special way.
Did you know that Wimereux is the oldest seaside resort on the Côte d'Opale? When Napoleon Bonaparte set up camp in Boulogne in 1804 for the invasion of England, the area north of the camp was just a vast stretch of dunes hidden between two cliffs. The great Imperial roads allowed the development of a railway line several years later and the construction of a station in 1862. This station brought about the development of a seaside resort on this stretch of coastline. The hamlet of Wimereux separated from Wimille and took off! In 1903, when Le Touquet and Hardelot were still in their infancy, Wimereux had over 600 villas and 13 hotels! By 1930, the station was flourishing and had become even larger. Its 800 villas and 50 hotels delighted its many visitors.
The Place to be
The architecture here is created in a very particular Anglo-Norman style and most of the villas were built according to the wishes of their owners. The electric tramway, casino and golf course made Wimereux a very popular destination for the British, the Belgians and the French Bourgeoisie. The Second World War was a brutal time for the resort when it suffered both the German occupation and bombing by the Allies, but 300 of the villas survived. They are real architectural gems. Today, the romantic feel of these magnificent dwellings attract those who are fascinated by old buildings. You can see them wandering along gazing upwards as they admire the many details nestled in the façades.
The ‘Association Le Charme de Wimereux’ regularly organises guided tours to learn all about these superb villas. Accompanied by the BCBG (Bénévoles Charmants des Balades Guidées (Charming Guided Walk Volunteers)) you can hone your knowledge of architecture, appreciate the style of some architects (Meurillon, Van den Busch, Maegerman and Belcher, etc.), learn about people who were important for the resort (Dobelle, Giard, Ballantyne and Malahieude, etc.) and understand above all that Great History has passed through Wimereux rather than just a little bit! It is fascinating!