Mirepoix Travel Guide

  • Le Commerce
    Le Commerce
    by Beausoleil
  • Le Commerce
    Le Commerce
    by Beausoleil
  • Mirepoix
    by illumina

Mirepoix Things to Do

  • lomi's Profile Photo

    by lomi Updated Apr 4, 2011

    A 5 minute drive from Mirepoix town took us to Vals. It sits just above the Hers river and is a stopping point on the Santiago pilgrim route.Inhabitants of Vals are called Valséens.

    The crypt "Eglise Rupestre de Vals" or the Church of Sainte Mariet Vals, is of Roman origen and is almost hidden in a the rock face. Using a natural fault in the rocks, a stone staircase seems to disappear into the bowels of the earth. Ten steps lead to an old door, the entrance to the lower part of the church is improperly named 'the crypt'. There is the remains of a 10th century edifice built by the first Christians.

    The church is built on 3 levels:
    a lower nave or cyrpt - dating to pre romanesque times;
    a higher nave, renovated in the 19th century
    the top chapel, with its fortified tower, it dates from the 14th century. From its heights the village was protected against the brigands in the 100 years war

    Inside there are 11th and 12th century frescos recalling a simpler style of religious art. The main area was closed for restoration on our visit in autumn 2008, but pictures of the frescoes were displayed in a cabinet on the wall. The naive frescoes show the traditions of Catalonia, and Roman painting depicting the Annunciation, the Nativity, the 12 apostles (but only 4 in evidence, and the Parousia - with archangels - a depiction unique in France.

    The grounds around the crypt are beautiful and offer extensive views of the the Pyrenees and the meandering Hers river.

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    Fanjeux market place

    by lomi Written Sep 30, 2009

    The Romans dedicated a temple to jupiter and named it Fanum Razes in this area. It only became known as Fanjeux in 12th century. It is another town with a long Cathar history.

    This pretty town is only a 15 minute drive from Mirepoix. It has a market worth seeing on Thursday and Saturday morning and lots of lovely little eating places.

    Saint Dominics House is the only building worth seeing, as there are no remains of its medieval castle.

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  • lomi's Profile Photo

    by lomi Updated Sep 30, 2009

    This local market is held every Monday morning throughout the year.

    Sometimes musicians play their music around the square. A lively atmosphere.

    As well as fresh bread, home grown and organic produce you can buy:

    clothing, shoes, wine, trinkets, live chickens! home made cakes, local honey and wine, artisans ware, local food specialties, antiques, the charcuteirre with ropes of dried sausages, take away hot food, (there were spit roast chickens and duck, bouillabaisse, hamburgers, toffee apples, and hundreds of local cheeses the day we visited).

    Many of the cafe bars around the square have special offer plat du jours on market day.

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Mirepoix Restaurants

  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo
    Le Commerce 3 more images

    by Beausoleil Updated Jul 5, 2013

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    We were visiting Mirepoix with our youngest daughter and lunch time arrived. I remembered I'd seen a Logis de France nearby fifteen years before so mentioned it. My husband actually remembered it and walked us right to it. Great memory! We'd never eaten there before as we'd never been there during the lunch hours. Good opportunity.

    They have indoor and outdoor seating and it was the perfect day so we sat on the terrace. It was the perfect lunch, soft breezes, good conversation and excellent food.

    Favorite Dish: We started with a kir blanquette . . . fun! Since we were in the region of Blanquette de Limoux, we decided to celebrate with a kir blanquette. Good idea! Blanquette-de-Limoux

    We all ordered the 17.50 euro menu that included a salad made with a very creamy local cheese. Ed & I got an excellent sauteed trout, and Peg got capon . . . all accompanied by mixed garden vegetables and potatoes. Delicious. We all ended with ice cream. It was excellent.

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Mirepoix Local Customs

  • lomi's Profile Photo

    by lomi Written Sep 30, 2009

    EVerywhere we drove around Ariege were road signs with the word 'Bastide'.

    This puzzled me and I had to look it up out of curiosity.

    Bastides are towns founded in the 13th century.

    They were built as medieval new towns, and had various functions, including improving security and safety of the residents and promoting trade.

    The bastide towns were usually built to a strict grid layout, with equal space allocated to each house. The grid centred on a square, which often contained a market hall and sheltered arcades around the edges. There was usually a church, often fortified, built adjacent to the main square.

    Although not primarily fortified towns, the bastides often acquired fortifications later, especially during the Hundred Years War that raged in the region between the English and the French.

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Mirepoix Favorites

  • Klod5's Profile Photo
    Mirepoix

    by Klod5 Updated Mar 8, 2003

    Favorite thing: The bastide is founded in 1279, after a flooding due to the rupture of the dam of Puivert. In the medieval downtown, a place surrounded with one-story houses, supported on pillars of wood.

    Fondest memory: The whole forms a gallery edged of stores that offer a charm a lot of caractérisrique of Mirepoix. A medieval week is organized in July.

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    Mirepoix - porte d'Aval

    by Klod5 Updated Mar 8, 2003

    Favorite thing: Although Mirepoix has, with its Lords, marked history at the time of the crusade against the albigeois, little material trace subsist. The lords of Levy, faithful of Simon of Montfort, had become Lords of Mirepoix, following the dispossession of the family of Mirepoix.

    Fondest memory: The bastide is founded in 1279, after a flooding due to the rupture of the dam of Puivert.
    La porte d'Aval (the door of downstream) is a square tower. It possessed a harrow of which one sees the grooves again. It dates of the end of the XIV th or the XV th century.

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  • Mirepoix Hotels

    6 Hotels in Mirepoix

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