IMG_1701Mirepoix can conjure up two very different things. A mirepoix is a mix of diced carrots, celery and onions that serves as a base for a number of dishes.  And the charming, medieval town of Mirepoix, about a 45-minute, very beautiful drive south of Carcassonne.IMG_4172IMG_4170Mondays are the day to see Mirepoix–market day. This is convenient, since so many towns, Carcassonne included, have markets on Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday. If you were busy on Saturday, you can catch up in Mirepoix on Monday. (Just forget about shopping anywhere on Sundays.) Mirepoix has another market day on Thursdays, but Monday is the one to see.

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Quite a difference from winter!

The heart of Mirepoix is its central square, lined with half-timbered houses with arcades that offer shade or shelter, depending on the season. It once was a fortified town, the halfway point between Carcassonne and Foix. It sprang up in the 10th century and became a holdout for the Cathars, which led to its being captured during the last crusade (the real one, the Albigensian Crusade) in 1209 just after Carcassonne. The town was wiped out again in 1289, when a terrible flood destroyed it. The locals rebuilt, but on the other side of the river. The area once was in a forest; today a big oak at the entry to the town, classified as a historic monument in 1945, is all that’s left–the other trees went into those half-timbered houses.

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The fortifications.

Mirepoix also has some great antique shops and brocantes.

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Sign of summer.

In the summer, it draws throngs–of course. Nobody makes a trip to see a mediocre town. But in winter, you can have the place to yourself.IMG_4173

 

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28 thoughts on “Mirepoix, in the South of France

  1. It is early. 6:00am. I am having my first cup of the day. You want to know how relieved I am to open your post and see the Mirepox, was actually a yummy food base and a gorgeous tour of the town – MirepoIx. 😉

    Good Morning, and thank you for a beautiful post to start my day!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I can enjoy it now. 30 years ago I was tested and found allergic to all my favorite foods. Carrots and celery were on that list. Last week I got tested again and I am told I am not allergic to any foods. ❤ 🙂 ❤
        This does sound good!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I love Mirepoix, was there yesterday with Aussie visitor 🙂
    Just a comnent about nowhere to shop on Sundays, the Esperaza market is fab and great atmosphere. Plus the new shop I have with my friend Gill, La Vie Vintage, is open too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh I LOVE Mirepoix. I bought some horribly overpriced linen once when I still lived in England. But I only bought it because I wanted a MEMORY, un souvenir of this magic little and so beautiful town. It is, same as Carcassonne and Foi, much too hot for me in summer but to tell you the truth, I think it would be perfect right now 🙂
    I also appreciate your in-woven history tales, there is so much one forgets and it’s always so interesting to read these details. You have been told before by me and others that you live in an absolutely wonderful region, and I happily underscore that once more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find that though it’s hot in summer, it doesn’t compare to where I grew up in the U.S. Midwest, nor to New York, where I used to live. The architecture, and, more importantly, life, have adapted to make the heat bearable here. Plus, it’s dry heat, not that stifling humidity.

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  4. I’m so happy I found your blog. You write a super narrative to accompany your lovely photos and it’s so interesting to see these little obscure places that are now on the list of places to visit , one day! Thanks so much for the educational snippets of history and the travel tips. I think I’ll buy a map and pinpoint your charming venues. Wait…..it’s probably ALL charming!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually, yes, it’s all charming. There are tons of wonderful things to visit in the radius around Carcassonne, and it’s all a little more naïve, more authentic and down-to-earth, than in glitzy Provence, where ordinary people can no longer afford to live.

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  5. I love that arcade. And although it’s been a while, I remember the church / cathedral as quite lovely, with very interesting gargoyles. It is, however, and like so many other huge monumental buildings, quietly moldering into benign neglect.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a charming little town. I had never heard of it before and now will have to add it to my long list of places that you have featured. Although I have traveled to many places in France your neck of the woods as they say was not one of them. I am fascinated by the rich history of Carcassonne and the surrounding area. Beautiful photos that capture just a small part of this charming place.

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  7. I did notice how well dressed the vendor was in the first photo or two!OH DON’T YOU LOVE FRANCE!!!!!!DID YOU EVER IMAGINE YOU WOULD LIVE THERE?I as a child always thought I would live in EUROPE!Isn’t that funny!I got THREE years of that wish…….and a husband from there!TO MARKET WE SHALL GO!!!!!!NOT the same out here in CALIFORNIA!I take my AFRICAN BASKET to SAFEWAY and use that for my groceries……….XX

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