Coordinates: 49°22′N 0°05′E / 49.36°N 0.08°E / 49.36; 0.08
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Seaside casino
Seaside casino
Coat of arms of Deauville
Location of Deauville
Deauville is located in France
Deauville is located in Normandy
Coordinates: 49°22′N 0°05′E / 49.36°N 0.08°E / 49.36; 0.08
IntercommunalityCœur Côte Fleurie
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Philippe Augier[1]
3.57 km2 (1.38 sq mi)
 • Density1,000/km2 (2,600/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
14220 /14800
Elevation0–83 m (0–272 ft)
(avg. 5 m or 16 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Deauville (French pronunciation: [dovil] ) is a commune in the Calvados department, Normandy, northwestern France. Major attractions include its harbour, race course, marinas, conference centre, villas, Grand Casino, and sumptuous hotels. The first Deauville Asian Film Festival took place in 1999.[3] Deauville is regarded [by whom?] as the "queen of the Norman beaches" and one of the most prestigious seaside resorts in all of France. As the closest seaside resort to Paris, the city and its region of the Côte Fleurie (Flowery Coast) has long been home to French high society's seaside houses and is often referred to as the Parisian riviera.

Since the 19th century, the town of Deauville has been a fashionable holiday resort for the international upper class.[4] Deauville is also a desirable family resort for the wealthy. In France, it is known perhaps above all for its role in Proust's In Search of Lost Time.

History overview[edit]

The history of Deauville can be traced back to 1060, when seigneur Hubert du Mont-Canisy dominated the magnificent land which was previously known as Auevilla. In 1066, Hubert du Mont-Canisy left to follow William the Conqueror to England.

Bathing Time at Deauville, by Eugène Boudin, 1865

Until 1860, Deauville went from the reign of one mayor to another and slowly became famous as horse territory and for cultivating sainfoin. Duc Charles Auguste Louis Joseph de Morny, half brother of the emperor Napoleon III, on requests of his wife Sofia Sergeyevna Trubetskaya and her friend-art collector Konstantin Rudanovsky transformed Deauville into a more travelled resort. Before the death of the Duc in 1865, certain key investments were made that would transform Deauville's history. Such investments included a railway from Paris to Deauville, the Deauville hippodrome for horse races, and a small casino. Within three years, over forty villas were constructed in the surrounding area, and 200 rooms, as well as other accommodations, were finalized in the Grand Hotel. Also, to the Duc de Morny's credit, was the construction of a church and a school in 1863. In the same year, "La Terrasse" was created. This was essentially a complex for hydrotherapeutic baths and other cures, as well as a 1,800-metre promenade along the seaside.

Seaside 5-star Hôtel Normandy Barrière and its gardens

Following the Duc's death, Deauville grew gradually, but it was not until the early 20th century when Désiré le Hoc, with Eugene Cornuché, pushed Deauville into another important period of transformation and development. The still-famous Normandy Barrière and Royal hotels and the casino opened in the years 1911 and 1913. Renovations were carried out and extensions were made to the hippodrome, telephone lines were set up, the sales of yearlings saw historic highs, and up to 62 English and French yachts occupied the basin. During these successful years many luxury boutiques opened in the streets of Deauville (Coco Chanel's first shop), as many stores from Paris decided it was worthwhile establishing themselves in the up-and-coming Norman resort.

During World War I, wounded soldiers would be cared for in Deauville's famous hotels and casino. The war also took a heavy toll on Deauville's blossoming market and trade sector as merchants were forced to give many of their products to the war effort.

Beach in Deauville
  • In 1923, the Promenade des Planches was created and finalized. This refers to the famous wooded boardwalk that parallels the seaside.
  • In 1926, Eugene Corniché died. His position as director of Deauville's grand establishments was filled by Francois André.
  • In 1929, the construction of l"Hotel du Golf was paired with major renovations and expansions to the golf course itself. This was a decision coming directly from Francois André. The hotel and golf course are situated on the outskirts of the town.
  • In 1931, only seven kilometres from the centre of town, Deauville – Saint-Gatien Airport was inaugurated. This was a pivotal event in the Deauville's history, specifically in terms of tourism, as now London was only a 2-hour trip from Deauville.
  • On the 19th of July 1936, the Deauville Grand Prix was held on a 3.7 kilometre circuit which used the road along the seafront and the Boulevard Eugène Cornuché.[5] Drivers and spectators had reservations about the narrowness of the circuits and the sharp 90-degree corners. Approaching three-quarter distance, the E.R.A. of Marcel Lehoux clipped the wheel of the Alfa Romeo driven by Giuseppe Farina, resulting in both cars crashing. Farina was not seriously injured, but Lehoux was thrown out of his car, suffering a fractured skull, and dying on the way to the hospital.[6] Earlier in the race, Albert Chambost had crashed his Maserati. He was seriously injured, and succumbed to his injuries in hospital a few days later. This was the only running of the Deauville Grand Prix.

The combination of the national financial crisis and World War II completely the paradisiacal aura of Deauville that would not resurface until the 1950s. During the Second World War, the German Army occupied Deauville. Villas, hotels, and the casino were all occupied or used to some extent by the German forces. Following the invasion of allied forces D-Day, the German troops were pushed out of Deauville and Normandy.

Following the war, and perhaps exemplified in the 1960s and beyond, Deauville understood what it represented and decided to act in accordance, playing the cards it had at its disposal: myth and exclusivity. Michel d'Ornano was established as the new mayor and Lucien Barriere succeeded his uncle Francois André at the head of the Hotels and Casinos of Deauville. Deauville became again a centre for high society and celebrities from almost every field. With scenes of award-winning movies being filmed in Deauville (such as Claude Lelouch's "un Homme et une Femme") and endless celebrity traffic, the town has renewed its status as an emblematic resort town of Europe.

Early history[edit]

Charles Auguste Louis Joseph de Morny, 1st Duc de Morny, half brother of Emperor Napoleon III

The first reference to Deauville was in 1060. At this time the village was called A Enilla and looked more like a fishing hamlet than a village. An Enilla comes from the Germanic Auwja Auwa meaning wet meadow. The village was originally up on the hill and a few houses were built next to the St Laurent chapel. Thanks to its situation near the coast, the village had a small harbour of little importance on the river Touques.

Duc de Morny[edit]

Deauville owes its greater prominence to the Duc de Morny. He described the village as: Cité calme, aux rue désertes, elle forme avec Trouville, animée et bruyante, un contraste absolu. Mais ce manque de vie n'est, en réalité, qu'apparent, car de magnifiques propriétés, de même que les délicieux jardins qui les entourent, sont entretnus avec un soin on ne peut plus raffiné. Translation: "A quiet town, with deserted streets, it forms a complete contrast with the busy and noisy Trouville. But this lack of life is, in reality, only apparent, because the magnificent properties, and their delicious gardens, are maintained with a care that could not be more refined."


Villa Strassburger
Promenade des Planches, where beach closets are dedicated to famous actors and moviemakers that have come to Deauville

In 1855 land was being bought at 5 centimes/m2; in 1862 the same land was worth 1 franc/m2. The buyer had indeed bought marsh land and sold constructible land.

It was in 1858 that doctor Oliffe, who owned a villa in Trouville, decided to create a "town of pleasure" on the deserted sand dunes and in 1862 the first stone of today's Deauville was laid.

Together with banker Armand Donon, the duc bought 2.4 square kilometres of marsh land and dunes for 800,000 francs. The Touques was still unchannelled but during the Second Empire the low tides permitted the construction of walls. In the 1860s visits by Napoleon III made the coast of Normandy adjacent to Deauville fashionable, and soon speculators developed the infrastructure necessary to accommodate members of the Imperial court and the growing Parisian bourgeoisie.

The railway arrived at Trouville-sur-Mer in 1863. Using the station called Trouville, passengers could reach Deauville in six hours from Paris. Morny, who had influence at Court, managed to persuade the aristocracy that staying on the coast would benefit their health. Land was bought and large villas, sometimes even palaces, were built. A casino and hotels soon followed and rich tourists came in their numbers. A common old joke among locals is that the wealthy bourgeoisie Frenchmen would keep their wife in Deauville and their mistress in Trouville, making light of the disparate socioeconomic statuses of the two neighbouring seaside villages, Trouville being a working class fishing village and Deauville being home to exclusive shops and expensive real estate.

The locked harbour was dug up in 1866.

Deauville hardly suffered during the First World War. It was during World War II with the German Occupation that Deauville saw most of its leisure properties confiscated for use by the occupying force.

Modern times[edit]

During the 1960s, Deauville started to see more mass-market visitors. Yet, the town and the surrounding Côte Fleurie are still a high-profile seaside resort, haven for the rich and famous as well as for the more discreet families of French high society such as the Rothschilds who own some Norman manor nearby Deauville. Today, Deauville is easily accessible from Paris thanks in large part to the extension of highway A132. From 26–27 May 2011, Deauville hosted the 37th G8 summit.

Deauville American Film Festival[edit]

Sharon Stone's photo shoot in 1991.

In an effort to prolong the summer season Lucien Barriere and Michel d'Ornano agreed to sponsor Lionel Chouchan and Andre Halimi s idea of a film festival that specifically promoted American films, both big-budget and independent features.

1975 was the festival's first year of existence and The Reincarnation of Peter Proud was the first film to be shown in the festival's history. Since 1975 the festival has continued to promote American cinematography as well as bring American and European stars to Normandy. The festival, not at all known for its competitive nature, began to hand out awards in 1995. In 2014 the Festival celebrated its 40th year.

Horse culture[edit]

Horse Race at Clairefontaine Hippodrome

Home to the Deauville-La Touques Racecourse, the countryside around Deauville is the main horse breeding region in France and home to numerous stud farms. As a result, the city is twinned with Lexington, Kentucky and County Kildare in Ireland, both of which are world leaders in breeding thoroughbred racehorses. The important Ventes de Deauville yearling auction is held in mid-August each year at Deauville.

Deauville is internationally known for its horse culture, its famous tracks, Yearling sales and its multiple group one annual races. The two famous tracks of Deauville are Deauville la Touques and Clairefontaine: these tracks are active during the months of January, July, August, October, and December.

The three most important races that occur in Deauville ever year are the following: Le Maurice de Gheest, Le Jacques le Marois, and Le Morny. More recently Le Prix d'Astarte, (Prix Rothschild) and Le Prix Romanet have gained more prestige in the racing world. Le Grand Prix de Deauville, though not a Group 1 race, remains very prestigious; since its origin the winner's names and emblems are posted on the walls of the grand hall of the race track.

Today Deauville also hosts competitions other than simply racing. These competitions include: polo tournaments, horseshows, and the European championship of miniature horses. Find the listing of previous winners and prizes at


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1793 96—    
1800 80−2.57%
1806 100+3.79%
1821 86−1.00%
1831 107+2.21%
1836 103−0.76%
1841 94−1.81%
1846 119+4.83%
1851 121+0.33%
1856 107−2.43%
1861 113+1.10%
1866 1,150+59.05%
1872 1,246+1.35%
1876 1,514+4.99%
1881 2,044+6.19%
1886 2,228+1.74%
1891 2,532+2.59%
1896 2,522−0.08%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1901 2,874+2.65%
1906 3,356+3.15%
1911 3,824+2.65%
1921 3,849+0.07%
1926 4,208+1.80%
1931 4,827+2.78%
1936 4,663−0.69%
1946 5,683+2.00%
1954 5,211−1.08%
1962 5,051−0.39%
1968 5,232+0.59%
1975 5,664+1.14%
1982 4,682−2.68%
1990 4,261−1.17%
1999 4,364+0.27%
2007 4,005−1.07%
2012 3,775−1.18%
2017 3,604−0.92%
Source: EHESS[7] and INSEE (1968-2017)[8]




Deauville in the movies[edit]

Weekend Wives, 1928

Popular culture[edit]

  • F. Scott Fitzgerald mentions Deauville in The Great Gatsby as a place Tom Buchanan and Daisy visit on their honeymoon.
  • Deauville was probably the location inspiration for the fictional casino in Ian Fleming's Casino Royale. The first of the James Bond series largely takes part in a Casino – Fleming had played at Deauville as a young man, and sets his tale of Bond versus Soviet agents in a fictional French gambling resort, drawing parallels with an actual World War II visit he had made to a Portuguese casino (Palacio Estoril) whilst working for the British secret service.
  • In the 1933 movie musical, 42nd Street, Ginger Rogers' character tries to pass herself off as a wealthy English socialite and mentions a previous vacation in Deauville.
  • The screen adaptation of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Links was set in Deauville.
  • The Deauville casino is the setting for the heist in Bob le flambeur, directed by Jean-Pierre Melville. It is also held-up in the 2008 movie Mesrine: L'ennemi public № 1.
  • Deauville was the setting for part of A Man and a Woman.
  • Deauville, together with Cabourg and Trouville, provides the basis for the Norman coastal resort of Balbec in Marcel Proust's A La Recherche du Temps Perdu (Remembrance of Things Past). For a discussion of Proust's use of Norman locations and the interplay between the social structures of his novel and the region's place in French social history, see
  • Deauville was a popular vacation spot for Coco Chanel during her affair with Boy Capel. The two opened her second shop there, which was the first place Chanel took the step from hat making to clothing. Deauville was the birthplace of Chanel's clothing career.
  • Deauville was the setting for the first act of the play Private Lives by Noël Coward.
  • Deauville is mentioned as the departure point for Lord Palmerdale's party prior to being shipwrecked in the Doctor Who serial Horror of Fang Rock. Adelaide Lessage regrets leaving Deauville as the deaths begin to mount.

Song prize and literary prize[edit]

The Prix de Deauville for songs and books are awarded in April annually. The song prize was a notable event in the late 1940s and 1950s. The prix littéraire de la Ville de Deauville in 2016 was awarded to Virginie Despentes.[9]

International relations[edit]

Deauville is twinned with:


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Répertoire national des élus: les maires" (in French)., Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises. 13 September 2022.
  2. ^ "Populations légales 2021". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 28 December 2023.
  3. ^ ASEF Culture 360, Deauville Asian Film Festival, accessed 2 May 2022
  4. ^ "First for France - Deauville Guide". Archived from the original on 20 October 2006. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
  5. ^ "Disaster In Deauville; The 1936 Grand Prix". 5 March 2016. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  6. ^ Snellman, Leif. "I GRAND PRIX DE DEAUVILLE". Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  7. ^ Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Commune data sheet Deauville, EHESS (in French).
  8. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE
  9. ^ 18.04.2016 Virginie Despentes récompensée par le prix littéraire de la Ville de Deauville


  • Jean Bayle, Ports et Plages de la Côte Fleurie, éditions Charles Corlet, Condé-sur-Noireau, 1997.
  • Pessis, Jaques, "Deauville, Chronique d’une ville", editions Chronique-Dargaud, San Mauro, 2005.
  • Poullet, Ginette, Au vrai chic balnéaire, Charles Corlet, Condé-sur-Noireau, 2006.
  • Pierre Deux's Normandy : A French Country Style And Source Book /Linda Dannenberg, Pierre LeVec, And Pierre Moulin ; Photographs By Guy Bouchet ; Design By Paul Flar

External links[edit]