Mirepoix, Ariège

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Vue Mirepoix (Ariège).jpg
Coat of arms of Mirepoix
Coat of arms
Mirepoix is located in France
Coordinates: 43°05′23″N 1°52′28″E / 43.0897°N 1.8744°E / 43.0897; 1.8744Coordinates: 43°05′23″N 1°52′28″E / 43.0897°N 1.8744°E / 43.0897; 1.8744
Country France
Region Midi-Pyrénées
Department Ariège
Arrondissement Pamiers
Canton Mirepoix
Intercommunality Pays de Mirepoix
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Nicole Quillien
 • Land1 47.28 km2 (18.25 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 • Population2 3,123
 • Population2 density 66/km2 (170/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 09194 / 09500
Elevation 276–462 m (906–1,516 ft)
(avg. 308 m or 1,010 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Mirepoix (Occitan: Mirapeis, supposedly from mire peis, meaning see the fish) is a commune in the Ariège department in southwestern France.

13th Century façades in Mirepoix.


Mirepoix is situated in the Hers valley between Carcassonne and Pamiers.


The original town was virtually destroyed by flooding of the Hers-Vif river on 16 June 1289. It was subsequently rebuilt by Jean de Levis in 1290.


The inhabitants are called Mirapiciens.

Historical population
Year Pop.   ±%  
1962 3,078 —    
1968 3,255 +5.8%
1975 3,273 +0.6%
1982 3,139 −4.1%
1990 2,993 −4.7%
1999 3,061 +2.3%
2008 3,123 +2.0%


Cathédrale Saint-Maurice de Mirepoix

The centre of Mirepoix is built around the place de Couverts which in turn has the 14th century Maison des Consuls as its main attraction. The overhanging arcades have exposed beams and from these there are approximately 150 individually carved wooden heads.

The cathedral of St-Maurice, built in the Gothic style, has a particularly wide nave.

Winter market in the place de Couverts.
The bastide of Mirepoix in summer.

Notable inhabitants[edit]

  • Jacques Fournier (c.1280-1342) was Bishop of Mirepoix from 1326, and became Pope in 1334, taking the name Benedict XII. He was the third Avignon Pope.
  • Marie de Calages (1630-1661), born in Mirepoix, was a poet. She was crowned many times by l’Académie des Jeux Floraux.
  • Jean-Joseph Vidal (1747-1819) was an astronomer, particularly noted for his study of the planet Mercury.
  • Marcel Pagnol (1895-1974), the novelist, playwright and filmmaker, taught at the École Supérieure in Mirepoix.
  • Terence Macartney-Filgate (1924-) is a British-Canadian film director. He has directed, written, produced or shot more than 100 films in a career spanning over 50 years.

Cultural Life[edit]

MiMa is an international festival of the art of marionettes.[1]

Mirepoix Musique promotes concerts of classical music (particularly French and English) throughout the year in and around Mirepoix.[2]

Salon du Livre d’Histoire Locale de Mirepoix[3]

The festival Swing à Mirepoix is held each year over the Easter weekend.[4]

See also[edit]