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The History of Seaside Resorts in Europe until 1938

Korean Minjok Leadership Academy
International Program
Hur, Daeun
Term Paper, AP European History Class, November 2008

Table of Contents

I. Introduction
II. History of Seaside Resorts in Europe : How Did They Emerge and Develop ?
III. Purpose : Why did resorts emerge ?
IV. History of Seaside Resorts : How did they emerge ?
V. Effect of the Industrial Revolution on the Resorts
VI. Activities offered at, Establishments Provided by Seaside Resorts in Europe
VI.1 Sightseeing
VI.2 Sea bathing
VI.3 Pier
VI.4 Entertainment
VI.5 Sport
VI.6 Transportation
VII. Conclusion

I. Introduction
            these days, resorts are normally considered as where people visit and stay for vacation, equipped with various entertaining facilities and residential structures. However, the notion and features of early resorts was slightly different from now. This paper focuses on the features and development of resort until 1938 in Europe.

II. History of Seaside Resorts in Europe : How Did They Emerge and Develop ?
            One of the ancient resorts in the history was the resort of Roman Empire, Baiae, Italy, over 2000 years ago. It was a resort for super wealthy people, with elaborate villas, swimming pools and casinos. Large part of the town became the imperial property. (1)
            Resorts were resting place for upper class, the elite who could afford them (2). Places such as Deauville (France), Binz (Germany), Brighton (England), and Isle of Wight (England) are some examples of famous seaside resorts in Europe.

III. Purpose : Why Did Resorts Emerge ?
            Their original purpose was for relaxation, recovering health, for the people in upper class. However, it gradually became a recreational place where people gather and enjoy themselves, similar to their purpose in modern days. The Industrial Revolution, functioned in the development of seaside resorts, enhancing the access of people to the resorts.

IV. History of Seaside Resorts : How Did They Emerge ?
            Seaside resorts are the resorts on the coast. If the beach is mostly targeted by the tourists, it is rather called a beach resort (3)
            The coast was always a recreational place, although only wealthy people could afford this luxury until mid-nineteenth century. Baiae, near the Tyrrhenian Sea in Italy, was a resort for the wealthy people in upper class, including the emperors. In early 19th century, the Prince Regent founded Brighton, as an alternative for the famous spa towns such as Cheltenham. Isle of Wight and Broadstairs were confirmed as luxurious seaside residence for those who could afford more than one house, in Queen Victoria¡¯s reign, 1837 to 1901. It was in the mid-nineteenth century that people in relatively lower classes could visit seaside resorts for holidays. (4)

V Effect of Industrial Revolution on the Resorts
            In the beginning of industrial revolution, the steam engine was invented by Robert Newcomen in 1705 and developed by James Watt in 1712. It resulted in the invention of steam powered trains in 1825 and the construction of railways all over Europe (5). Railways connecting large towns started in 1830s, gaining momentum in the end of First Industrial Revolution (6).
            These improvements in transportation, especially the invention of train, enabled the people to go far away from home and visit these seaside resorts, resulting in growth of coastal resort towns (7).

VI. Activities offered at, Establishments Provided by Seaside Resorts in Europe
            Seaside resorts all had residential components, hotels and restaurants, due to its characteristic that people come to resort to stay long. Other than that, however, the seaside resorts, shared common aspects such as sights, sea bathing, pier, entertainment, sport, and transportation.

VI.1 Sightseeing
            The first common aspect of seaside resorts is beautiful sight. Locating near the sea, they had breathtaking view of bays and beaches. Some of them are famous for the beautiful cliffs on the shore. For example, the Isle of Wight of England is famous for its Alum Bay and Freshwater Bay. Alum Bay, especially, is famous for its magnificent view with the cliff with the contrast of white chalk and vertical striped rock. (8)
            Other than the sights of seas, most regions with seaside resorts have historical sites, such as churches and ancient ruins, for example. Binstead Church and Quarr Abbey are some famous historical sites in Isle of Wight (9). Baiae, seaside resort of ancient Roman time, was regaining is fame again in the 1880s and 1890s. Baiae, also, was full of ancient ruins of Roman aristocrats¡¯ resort and temples, such as Temple of Mercury and Temple of Venus (10. The beach of Binz, Germany, developed in the 1880s, in the best in Rügen (11). Sights such as an aquarium, entertaining sight for the tourists, were also popular like Aquarium in Brighton, England. (12)

VI.2 Sea Bathing
            The second figure of seaside resorts is sea bathing. Sea bathing is swimming in the sea water, normally for pleasure, exercise, and, for a short period of time, medicinal purposes. Sea bathing became popular in the late 18th century, although it was invented far long time ago, in medieval time. It led to the development of bathing machine, Scarborough being the first resort to introduce it (13). In seaside resorts, there would be public bath-places, and bath machines, forming long rows along the pier heads. They had time limits, and there would be several kinds of baths, such as cold baths and swimming baths. (14)
            Sea bathing had medical purpose as well. In 1753, the use of sea water was recommended for healing diseases in the book of Dr. Charles Russel, "The Uses of Sea Water". This resulted in the popularity of coasts, and seaside resorts. Marine hospitals were also constructed in part of France and England. There was dipper, a special occupation in the resorts, who was to ensure that the patients had enough dips for treatment. (15) Baiae was famous for its use of medicinal remedies to various illnesses in ancient Roman times. (16)
            Sea bathing led to the start of lifeguard association. There was risk of inexperienced swimmers while swimming in the sea. German Lifeguard Association, founded because of the destruction of a pier in 1912 (17), and Surf Lifesaving Association of Australia, founded in 1923 (18), are the examples of life guard association founded in seaside resorts.

VI.3 Piers
            A pier is a common structure of many seaside resorts. Most seaside resorts had piers, for example, Chain Pier and New Pier in Brighton (19). Even in ancient Baiae, there was pier, as shown in the ruins of the pier (20). Pier is a walkway constructed over water, supported by pillars or piles. There are three types of piers: working piers, pleasure piers, and fishing piers. Piers in seaside resorts were pleasure piers. In the resorts with large tidal range, it was impossible to have view of the sea all day long on land. Thus, piers were built permitting the visitors to have view of the sea at all times. Pier had another function. On the pier, there would be amusement structures and theaters. These buildings were built on pier, with outer walls, enabling people to entertain no matter how the climate is. (21)
            Another interesting fact is that pier was used as a way to escape from law. Most legal jurisdictions limited gambling (22), which was pretty popular culture in resorts, "on land". Thus, to escape from regulations of the law, gambling places were built on pier, which was not on land.

VI.4 Entertainment
            For the visitors who stayed long in the resorts, entertainments such as grand ball, theater with drama and opera performances, and casinos were provided. From time to time, instead of drama performances, concerts and ballet were held in theater (23). Casino was another feature of seaside resorts. The Salon in Deauville, France and casino in Hanko, Finland are famous examples of casinos. However, these casinos were different from modern notion. In Salon of Deauville, theatrical performances were given sometimes a week, and grand ball was held once a week (24). Hanko Casino of Finland, under Russian rule, used to be a popular spa resort for the Russian nobility. It was not a gambling place, but a former banquet hall. Grand balls were held in Hanko Casino (25). Casinos of seaside resorts in history were different from the modern casinos, in its features and notion.

VI.5 Sport
            Other than entertainments, sports were provided in the seaside resorts. Since their location on shore, sports done on the sea were common, sailing boats for example. They could be rented on time limit (26). There were also skating rinks in some seaside resorts. (27) Sports such as tennis were also played in by resort¡¯s residents, as seen in ¡°Tennis Week¡±, traditional event of Hanko. (28)
            There were also sports intended to be just observed, other than sports played by visitors. Race is an example for this kind of sports. In Deauville, horse race was held for about a week in August, so visitors could have luxurious meeting and observe the races. (29)

VI.6 Transportation
            Due to its location and size of town, seaside resort needed transportations to outside and within itself. The transportation system was seaside resorts were affected by industrial revolution, happened in 18th century. Main transportation to the seaside resorts were railroads (30). Within the resorts, there were various types of transportations such as carriages, steam boats, and omnibus. Carriages were mainly horse-pulled, not steam. Because of some seaside resorts geographical features, with sea water dividing it and mainland, steamboats were needed to move from place to place. Ferries were also used, in Deauville in the way to Trouville, for example (31). Omnibus, first introduced in 1662, but drawn by horses, reappeared in the 1820s. There were steam engine buses in the 1830s. They were used to carry passengers in the seaside resorts. (32)

VII. Conclusion
            The resorts were built and visited by people in relaxation and recreational purposes, which originally had medical purpose. This paper was focused on the seaside resorts especially. The Industrial Revolution had impact on the development of seaside resorts. Seaside resorts, due to their similarities in the purposes and geographical features, shared some features such as pleasure structures and transportations.

IX. Notes

(1)      Article "Baiae" from Wikipedia
(2)      ibid.
(3)      Article "Seaside Resort" from Wikipedia
(4)      ibid.
(5)      Ganse 2008 pp. 136-138
(6)      Article "Industrial Revolution" from Wikipedia
(7)      Article "Seaside Resort" from Wikipedia
(8)      Baedeker 1878
(9)      ibid.
(10)      Baedeker 1893
(11)      Baedeker 1890
(12)      Baedeker 1878
(13)      Article "Sea Bathing" from Wikipedia
(14)      Baedeker 1878
(15)      Article "Sea Bathing", from Wikipedia
(16)      Article "Baiae", from Wikipedia
(17)      Article "Binz" from Wikipedia
(18)      Article "Sea Bathing" from Wikipedia
(19)      Baedeker 1878
(20)      Baedeker 1867
(21)      Article "Pier" from Wikipedia
(22)      Article "Gambling" from Wikipedia
(23)      ibid.
(24)      Baedeker 1899
(25)      Article "Hanko" from Wikipedia
(26)      Baedeker 1878
(27)      ibid
(28)      Article "Hanko" from Wikipedia
(29)      Baedeker 1899
(30)      Article "Industrial Revolution" from Wikipedia
(31)      Baedeker 1899
(32)      Article "Bus" from Wikipedia

X. Bibliography

Note : websites quoted below were visited in November 2008.
1.      Article: Resort, from Wikipedia. last revised on 14 November, 2008.
2.      Article: Baiae, from Wikipedia. last revised on 23 November, 2008.
3.      Article : Seaside Resort, from Wikipedia. last revised on 25 November, 2008.
4.      Ganse, Alexander. KMLA Handbook Modern European History, 7th ed. Korean Minjok Leadership Academy, 2008.
5.      Article : Industrial Revolution, from Wikipedia. last revised on 26 Nov, 2008.
6.      Karl, Baedeker. London and Its Environs, including Excursions to Brighton, the Isle of Wight, etc. London: Dulau and Co. 1878
7.      Karl, Baedeker. Northern France from Belgium and the English Channel to the Loire excluding Paris and its Environs. London: Dulau and Co. 1899
8.      Karl, Baedeker. Northern Germany as Far as the Barvarian and Austrian Frontiers with Excursions to Copenhagen and the Danish Islands, 10th edition. London: Dulau and Co. 1890
9.      Karl, Baedeker. Italy: Handbook for Travellers. Part Third: Southern Italy, Sicily, the Lipari Islands. London: Williams and Norgate 1867.
10.      Karl, Baedeker. Italy: Handbook for Travellers. Third Part: Southern Italy and Sicily, with Excursions to the Lipari Islands, Malta, Sardinia, Tunis, and Corfu. London: Dulau and Co. 11th edition. 1893
11.      Article: Sea bathing, from Wikipedia. last revised on 29 November, 2008
12.      Article: Binz, from Wikipedia. last revised on 30 November, 2008.
13.      Article: Pier, from Wikipedia. last revised on 24 November, 2008.
14.      Article: Hanko, from Wikipedia. last revised on 7 October, 2008.
15.      Article: Bus, from Wikipedia. last revised on 28 November, 2008.
16.      Article: Gambling, from Wikipedia. last revised on 18 November, 2008.

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