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7 PYRENEES    ARIEGE REGION - A COTTAGE TO RENT IN FRANCE

      La Maison des Penitents Blancs

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The village of Mirepoix
Scroll down to see more images of this village.


      
      

Mirepoix - population around 3500 people - is a wonderfully    colourful and vibrant village 
   The beautiful and historically important 14C Place-des-Grandes-Couverts is where    
   everything happens - the Apple and Ceramics Festivals - the Jazz Festival - the Mediaeval Pageants
   - but especially there is the Mirepoix Market every Monday.
      

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People come from all the smaller villages around to brouse amongst the books - 
the range of new and pre-loved clothing - baskets and bags - or you-name-it 
- or a variety of the local wines and crafts -  



- and of course to choose carefully from the marvellous variety of food 
-  meat - poultry and rabbits - fruit and veggies - olives and cheeses  - and all types of fresh fish.

    

There is usually something happening in the Place - a decorative little merry-go-round lives permanently 
in the centre the arcaded square - surrounded on four sides by individually decorated 14C half-timbered houses. 
There is often some local music as entertainment.
    
There are some who enjoy looking out their windows from above the shops to see what is happening
- and others just enjoy taking in a bit of shade under the trees - 
 

- or those who are enjoying a drink or coffee and cake at one of the many cafes and bars.
This cafe is one is located on one of the long sides of the Place - 


- and this popular Bar is on one of the shorter ends of the Place.
It is a great place to just relax and watch all the different people go by - 
- or take a promenade right around the square enjoying the range of shops.
. As the Place is only a few hundred metres from our front door - it is easy to pop up there for anything 
you need - especially fresh bread and croissants in the mornings.
There are many excellent places for an excellent meal out right in the village of Mirepoix
at all different price ranges. Shown above and below is the little restaurant Chez Pap which 
serves a home cooked 4 course meal for around 15 euros. It's just up our street.

Chez Pap inside in winter. In summer you can sit outside in the street.



And this is perhaps the most popular restaurant with our guests so far - Les Remparts
 - once again just around the corner from our cottage. It serves a quite excellent meal.
It is worth saying that it is often necessary to book for both lunch and dinner 
at most eating places in this village to make sure you have a table.
    

Running around the Place there are wide outer streets with shops and a smaller Place 
 - also a cheerful covered market place where a smaller food market is held each Thursday.
Here is the magnificent gothic Cathedral St Maurice - with one of the widest naves in southern France. 
Many guests at this cottage have really enjoyed music concerts in the cathedral. 

This is Mirepoix in summer - La Maison des Consuls or the old Council house 
with beautiful carved beams - set in the Grands Couverts        
 
- and here it is in winter. We are often there ourselves at this time and although there 
can be light snow for a day or so  - we find the climate here very bright and sunny.
Because this village is what is called 'un village normale' - it means that during winter everything 
carries on as normal - the market, shops and restaurants
unlike many tourist villages where many things are closed in the off season

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Every year Mirepoix hold the famous Mediaeval Festival - see above
- just one of the many fairs, concerts, jazz and special markets which makes 
this village such a lively and exciting place.


Wander out into the wide tree-lined streets surrounding the historic centre
where there are more shops - antiques and old wares - restaurants and cafes. 


These are some of the fascinating wooden carvings of La Maison-des-Consuls -    
one of the oldest houses in the village - just at then end of street.

Pyrenees region - Pyrenees cottage - Pyrenees village  
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The village of Mirepoix
 
The village of Mirepoix has 3400 habitants and is one of the most beautiful villages we have seen - 
with an central arcaded mediaeval centre of upmarket shops selling clothes, books 
and particularly books on the Cathars, a good Office de Tourisme, a carousel, all food shops 
and a large covered market place.  
There is a large and colourful market held in the Place every Monday - 
and many fairs and festivals take place throughout the year 
including a big jazz festival every Easter.
 
1.Lot  - 2.Dordogne - 3 Tarn - 4 Gascony  -  5 Provence - 6 Haute Provence - 7 Pyrenees
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