In the heart of Cathar country, the medieval market town of Mirepoix is central to an unspoilt land that has realised how to conserve the slower pace of life of the south.
The beautiful traffic-free square with its 14th century cloisters & timbered houses will immediately seduce you. There are also lovely surprises when you discover the surrounding villages (Camon, Vals, Léran…) some of which are listed as Les Plus Beaux Villages in France.
Mirepoix was disastrously flooded in 1279. In 1289, Guy de Lévis rebuilt the town on the left banks of the river, with a large central square, Place du Maréchal-Leclerc, and streets laid out in a grid pattern.
The Place du Maréchal-Leclerc is one of the best and most evocative medieval squares in Europe to see, and a perfect example of people friendly architecture. The medieval buildings that line the square offer the shade of ground floor arcades held up by absolutely massive beams. Here you'll find cafes, restaurants and interesting shops and galleries. The tourist office of Mirepoix is in this square. There is also a cinema, indoor swimming pool, banks, shops and post-office.
Monday is the weekly outdoor market and we highly recommend you visit it in the Place du Maréchal-Leclerc. Mirepoix will always be associated with fine French cooking, having given its name to the basic starting point of aromatic chopped vegetables consisting of carrots, onions and celery. (Actually, a chef named them after his patron, a military man from Mirepoix with the rather lengthy name of Charles-Pierre-Gaston-François de Lévis du Mirepoix.)
The church of St Maurice built in 1298 by Jean de Lévis was transformed over time into the Mirepoix cathedral, Cathédrale Saint-Maurice de Mirepoix. It's Gothic and known for its wide nave, the second widest in Europe.