The charms of the "Belle Epoque"
LAMALOU LES BAINS
Unlike many spa towns, Lamalou-les-Bains is not of Roman origin. Its name comes, quite simply, from the stream which runs through the town and which was formerly called “Malou” or “Betoulet”, which in time was transformed into the present name of “Bitoulet”.
The town’s natural springs, which first welled up from a major geological fault when mining galleries were dug during the eleventh and twelfth centuries, form a small hydrological basin. Legend has it that a peasant suffering from rheumatic pain bathed in the muddy pond formed by the waters and found that it greatly relieved his discomfort.
Lamalou-les-Bains really came into its own during the nineteenth century. The spa was open all year round, a railway line was inaugurated in 1889, and a casino and theatre provided entertainment. The resort became a favourite destination for some famous names, including André Gide and Alphonse Daudet. From the grand hotels to the Spa Centre, theatre and casino, the whole eclectic architectural taste of the Belle Époque is represented here..