It certainly looks as if the Balneario was known in Roman times because of coins that were discovered there in the 1950’s. Furthermore the name of the river “Caldarés” is latin in origin and refers to thermal waters, just like the French town of Cautelets at the other side of the border.
The very first document held by the town council dates back to 1315 although an even earlier document is known to exist. At that time the village consisted of 4 hamlets each situated at strategic vantage points to keep an eye out for possible threats, as was Celtic practice. The hamlets were called Santa Maria, San Salvador, Sus, was where the village stands today and Exena was 3 kms away. A later document in the middle of the 15th C has no mention of Exena which leads us to believe that is had ceased to exist by that time, probably because the residents had joined the others to avoid isolation.
Over the course of the 16th C the other 3 hamlets had also amalgamated into one compact nucleus. This would have been a natural progression as many of the fears and dangers that brought about the previous type of settlement had been lifted. Yet even so the village grew into two distinct areas divided by fields until they were filled in relatively recently by new buildings.
Panticosa is the head village of the local Quiñon a special ancient alliance in the Valley de Tena. (See Quiñon)
Livestock farming had always been the traditional occupation and way of life in this valley. Together with subsistence farming methods people were self sufficient, producing just enough for their families and animals to get by. That continued generation after generation for five hundred years, in fact right up to the 1950’s when people started to drift away from farming and into the tourist sector. Of the 425 homes registered in the Valle de Tena in 1950 73% lived exclusively from the land. By 2005 the number had dropped to a mere 20 who are exclusively or partially involved in farming.
That shows a massive shift in lifestyle that our valley, villages and communities have experienced in the blink of an eye..
Fd.: juan José Guillén Calvo