Not so far from cities like Toulousenear carcassonneor even of fox, there is a small town with colorfully painted and half-timbered medieval facades next to a square full of tables of bars and restaurants in the sun. That’s how it is mirepoixone of the best surprises in the department of Ariege, and not so far from the Pyrenees. In this post I will tell you about my visit to the town and the recommendations on what there is what to see in Mirepoix.
Why visit Mirepoix.
First, because it is beautiful, it already seems to me a compelling reason. And secondly, France: above all, I recommend this destination for those who like to explore French rural areas, visit quiet villages (the art of village), find what I call “inner France”, always less widespread than famous postcards like Paris .
Even though mirepoix It is not exactly an unknown destination for tourism, it is a quiet destination where you can spend a relaxed day, getting to know the town’s architectural jewels and enjoying its gastronomy. Above all, I recommend going to Mirepoix including this town in an itinerary through the region.
Where is Mirepoix?
The region to which it belongs mirepoix Its the Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénéesdistrict of pamiers in the region of Ariege. As I said, it is a good destination close to carcassonnewhich could be the most famous tourist city in the region.
So if you plan to pass through the huge French fortified city, you may as well be on your way to mirepoix and also know the nearby town of cameon or own fox with his castle. It can also be a nearby destination on the way to Ax-les-Thermes or even your own Andorra.
What to see in Mirepoix
Although small, mirepoix It is a town that has several points to visit. In my case, I made my visit as I was taking care of a house with the house sitting system in a nearby town. I was walking the town and exploring its attractions, so I am going to name what you should not miss:
Walk the small old and medieval town.
What makes more famous and attractive to mirepoix without a doubt it is the medieval aspect of its constructions in the oldest nucleus. And it is that this town is preserved in an extraordinary way since the end of the 13th century, when it was rebuilt after a great flood. You will even notice that it is still protected by a wall that you can cross through a 13th century portico. Enter through the Porte d’Aval from the wall and just walk through its streets.
Just visiting the shops, many of them artisans, or sitting at a table in the sun on the terraces of the bars and restaurants, will make it worth visiting. mirepoix.
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Enjoy the Place des Couverts.
The space around the central square is very curious. It is called something like “Plaza de los Porches” since it is surrounded by medieval buildings with carved wooden arcades, which are mostly from the 13th and 15th centuries. The name is actually Leclerc Squareand you will notice how the half-timbered houses dominate the central landscape of the town with their color.
Identify the House of Consuls.
Among so many half-timbered facades, it will surely not take long for one of them to particularly attract your attention. It’s about the House of the Consuls (House of Consuls), and you will notice how its very old wooden crosspieces are carved with the heads of monsters, people and animals. Everything is preserved in an original way for centuries.
In the year 1500 the consuls built their own building that served as a court, a council room and even a prison. Precisely to highlight this building, more than 104 wooden sculptures that support the porch were carved.
Enter the Saint Maurice Cathedral.
This church is from the 13th century, and you will notice how the town still stars today despite so many years. It was built over six centuries, and has a late Romanesque and Gothic style. It is said that its central nave is the widest in the region, and one of the widest in all of Europe. You will also notice how inside there is color through pigments that have been preserved since then, a quite usual decorative tradition.
Cross the Mirepoix bridge.
The bridge over the canal at the end of the town is 206 meters long and was the work of the architect Jean-Rodolphe Perronet, the same as the Pont de l Concorde in Paris.
It is not exactly in the town itself but in the immediate vicinity and has more than ten centuries of history. In any case, if you geolocate it, you will be able to get closer to see it in the distance, high on a hill, without a doubt one of the points to see in Mirepoix. It’s actually called terride castle. Although it is a historical monument, it is private property and is in ruins.
What to see in Mirepoix if you are on a Monday: Mirepoix market
Every Monday morning you will have the privilege of discovering the great Mirepoix market, with lots of typical products and even local gastronomic delights.
And here are my recommendations on what to see in Mirepoix. You can leave more recommendations in comments.