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History d'Argelès-sur-Mer

Discovering Argelès-sur-Mer’s fascinating past

In the footsteps d'Argelès-sur-Mer

For a glimpse of Argelès-sur-Mer’s medieval past, the remains of the fortified towers can only be seen by those who dare to venture into the village’s narrow streets.

Don’t hesitate to lose yourself in the perimeter of the ramparts, inside the old town. The town of Argelès-sur-Mer
Argelès-sur-Mer was almost never outside its ramparts until the Second World War.
In the heart of the village, houses built in the late Middle Ages stand side by side with more modern ones. Observe the shape of the windows, the door frames, the tiles – all the architectural details that give a more complete picture of Argelès-sur-Mer.

4 anecdotes in Argelès-sur-Mer

1- Notre-Dame-du-Prat is oriented upside down compared to other churches. It was redesigned in the 17th century after an earthquake caused the choir to collapse.

2- Argelès gained its “sur-Mer” in the first half of the 19th century, when it had to be distinguished from Argelès-Gazost.

3- The first Argelès was not located in the valley, but in the mountains. It wasn’t until after 1163 that the kings of Aragon asked the town to move to the plains.

4- At the end of the 13th century, the kings of Majorca decreed that Argelès should become a royal town, subject only to the authority of the king, James II of Majorca. This was a rare privilege at the time, and one that contributed to the town’s development.

 What is the origin of the town's name?

The town of Argelès-sur-Mer owes its name to the clay soil on which it is built (from the Latin “Argila”: clay).