Arcachon is a commune of the Gironde département, in France.

Arcachon is a popular watering-place, with a fine beach and a mild climate, said to be favourable for invalids suffering from pulmonary complaints, on the Atlantic coast of southwest France, 34 miles southwest of Bordeaux and in the Landes forest.


The town was only founded in the 19th century, when the Pereire brothers who had just become owners of the nearby railway line had an extension built to Arcachon. Near to the city of Bordeaux, the town was quickly adopted by wealthy city-dwellers in search of a little fresh air, and many splendid villas were built along the sea's edge.

The 19th century painter Toulouse-Lautrec was one of the earliest tourists, but being a nudist, he had problems with his strait-laced neighbours. After their protests, he put up a high barrier so they would no longer be offended by his bathing sessions - and decorated it with pornographic drawings.

When his house was sold, the new owners, also offended by his advanced tastes, had the barrier burned - which would of course in a very short time have been worth many times what they'd just paid for the house!

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