Bastide de Mirepoix
Mirepoix, a lovely mediaeval “New Town” built of wood and cob, will reveal itself to anyone who takes the time to approach it and plunge into its turbulent history….
The town was initially located on the right bank of the Hers, nestling at the foot of the feudal castle in the 11th century, and it played an important role in the Cathar epic.
Simon de Montfort hastened to lay siege to the castle in 1209 and placed his faithful lieutenant Guy de Lévis at the head of the fief. The Mirepoix fief remained in the hands of the Lévis family until the French Revolution…
At the beginning of the 13th century Mirepoix continued to make the most of its strategic position as a privileged placed for exchanges, and grew considerably...
until the day of the “terrible” flood in June 1289 which destroyed Mirepoix.
Guy III de Lévis decided to rebuild the town, taking as its model the “bastides” (or new towns): a large central square facilitating exchanges, surrounded by timber-framed arcades under which the market stalls were set up, and a chequered layout with perpendicularly intersecting streets.
But, Mirepoix suffered during the Hundred Years’ War. The town was then fortified at the end of the 14th century, the Porte d’Aval gateway being the last vestige today…
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