Photographer's Note

Mirepoix is a commune in the Ariège department in south-western France. It is situated in the Hers valley between Carcassonne and Pamiers.

Mirepoix was captured in 1209 by Simon V de Montfort and given to one of his lieutenants, Guy de Lévis. The town, originally on the right bank of the Hers-Vif, was destroyed by a violent flood in 1289. It was rebuilt by Jean de Lévisin 1290, on an elevated natural terrace on the other side of the river. The layout of the town centre has not changed since the 13th century.

At the heart of Mirepoix is one of the finest surviving arcaded market squares - Les Couverts- in France. The square is bordered by houses dating from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries. The mediaeval Maison des Consuls (council house) has rafter-ends carved with dozens of images of animals and monsters, and caricatures of mediaeval professions and social groups.

The cathedral of St-Maurice has the second widest Gothic arch in Europe (after Gerona in Spain). The foundation stone was laid by Jean de Lévis on the 6th May 1298. Construction continued, with interruptions, over the next six centuries. The cathedral was restored in 1858 and 1859 by Prosper Mérimée, and Eugène Viollet-le-Duc.

(Source: Wikipedia)

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Additional Photos by Stephen Nunney (snunney) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10627 W: 63 N: 29874] (130967)
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