Les Landes region that you are discovering today, is the fruit of our history and that of Napoléon III. The pine forest replaced the swamp land, and Les Landes forest has become one of the largest artificial forests in Europe. It covers nearly 1 million hectares over three departments, Les Landes, La Gironde and the Lot et Garonne.
In Les Landes alone, there are more than 600,000 hectares that spread from the Atlantic ocean over 67% of the department. Les Landes is still the most wooded department in France.
The pine tree that has been present in Les Landes for over 8000 years, was planted to dry up the swamp land under Napoleon III.
During your stay, enjoy free access to the heated swimming pool, tennis court, boules pitch, play area… and many more activities that are available near to the Belle Epoque Estate.
the 29th March
to the 24th May
From the 25th May to the 28th June and
the 7th September to the 27th October 2024
From the 29th June to
19th July and
the 17th August to the 6th September 2024
the 20th July
to the 16th August
If you wish to come with family or friends, discover our other rooms and gîtes to enjoy our beautiful region together.
Book now your stay in the Napoléon III Suite
Napoleon III was born Louis Napoléon Bonaparte. He became Napoléon III in 1852 when he became the last emperor of France, a title he held until 1870. In 1853 he married Eugénie de Montijo who was 18 years younger. He died in 1873 exiled to the UK.
He loved France deeply. His close friends described him as endearing, good, faithful, and courageous as well as sensitive and emotional.
Being able to speak many foreign languages and with solid knowledge in agronomy, technical, military and economic matters, he developed the rail network, new industries and improved agricultural land in France.
The south west was particularly close to his heart as he would spend many of his holidays in Biarritz. In 1852 he revived the train line project from Bordeaux to Bayonne, crossing Les Landes. But it was on agricultural land in Les Landes that he would play a more important role.
He instigated the cleaning up and development of uncultivated land in France (Bretagne, Sologne…) and also wanted to better organise the French forests with a view to develop and exploit its wood.
Napoléon III had personal investments in Les Landes, along with certain influential men of that time (The count of Colonna Walewski, the Pérerie brothers, the Baron Haussmann…).
In 1857 he became the owner of 7000 hectares of deserted swamp land. He called it Solférino and built a village and prosperous agricultural land. This would become the showcase for his work done in Les Landes.
Napoléon III was given the nickname “the regenerator of Les Landes”. In Paris, there was much talk of the work that was done in Les Landes and one can find many books on the subject.
The law of 1957 would profoundly change things in Les Landes, in its landscape but also in its type of landowners.
Land was bought by the wealthy, professional people, craftsmen, tradesmen and local manufacturers. They were the only people with the capital necessary to buy land, drain its wetlands and then plant pine trees. They were also able to wait years before any return on their investment, whilst waiting for the trees to come to maturity and therefore ready to fell and exploit. The farmers/peasants therefore became sharecroppers.