|département: 66, Pyrénées-Orientales|
Amélie-les-Bains-Palalda (in Occitan: Els Banys d'Arles) is situated at an elevation of 549 m in the département Pyrénées-Orientales (canton Céret) of the région Occitanie in southern France. The municipality comprises two distinct laces, i.e. the villages of Amélie-les-Bains and of Palalda.
The valley of the river Tech in the historic Vallespir region was reattached to France in 1659 as of the Treaty of the Pyrenees, which ended the Franco-Spanish War that had begun in 1635 during the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) and which continued throughout the Fronde (1648–1653). According to the treaty, France gained Roussillon, Artois, part of Luxembourg and part of Flanders, and the border with Spain was fixed at the Pyrenees. However, the treaty only stipulated that all villages north of the Pyrenees should become part of France. For that reason there is an enclave of Spain in this part of France, Llívia — a town, not a village — which remained under Spanish control and is part of the comarca of Baixa Cerdanya, in the Spanish province of Girona. The treaty also included several points about conserving Catalonian institutions, but Louis XIV did not respect this part. Catalonian institutions were abolished just a year after the treaty was signed, and a royal French decree in 1700 forbade Catalan language usage in any kind of official act. Since then, French continues to be the only official language. [Text adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_the_Pyrenees]
The area of Amélie-les-Bains was inhabited at least since the Iron Age. The thermal springs of Amélie-les-Bains were already known in antiquity. The Romans constructed a bath house, of which a vaulted room and a small swimming pool still exist. During the 8th century a monastery was founded which, however, during the Norman invasions of the 9th century was relocated to Arles-sur-Tech. The thermal springs remained under the control of the abbot of the monastery until 1235 when the Lord of Roussillon and Vallespir took control. Only the parish church of Saint-Quentin remained under the jurisdiction of the abbot of Arles. Towards 1670 a stronghold was built above the village to protect the area near the Spanish border. During that time the place became known as Fort-les-Bains. Later on it became known as Les Bains d'Arles or Arles-les-Bains. The modern name, Amélie-les-Bains, was officially introduced in 1840 under the reign of Louis-Philippe I, who since 1809 had been married with Marie Amélie de Bourbon, princess of the Two Sicilies.
Until the Revolution, the village of Palalda had been known as Palaudà, in reference to a "palais" or manor house that had occupied the current
site of the village. The oldest written mention of Palalda dates back to the 9th century.
In 1942 the two communes were merged to become the new municipality of Amélie-les-Bains-Palalda.