Commune of Mirabel-aux-Baronnies
Les Josiols area of Mirabel-aux-Baronnies
|Elevation||206–791 m (680–2,600 ft)
(avg. 263 m/860 ft)
|Land area1||22.56 km2 (8.71 sq mi)|
|- Density||59 /km2 (150 /sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||26182/ 26110|
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
|2 Population sans doubles comptes: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.|
Perched on top of a hill, Mirabel is renowned for its mild
climate and beautiful scenery. Mirabel-aux-Baronnies is part of the
It was first mentioned in 1059 as Mirabello Castello.
Mirabel-aux-Baronnies is situated next to the river Gaude on a hill halfways Nyons and Vaison-la-Romaine and had formerly a castle with a tower so high that one could see Orange in Vaucluse. The castle incorporated the chapel of St-Julien that was of architectural importance.
Mirabel-aux-Baronnies is the former capital of a Vocontii tribe, the
Gaudenses. It is said that Mirabel has its name from the previously
mentioned high tower of the former castle, the tower was named
Turris Mirabellis. Later known as Castrum Mirabellum, it was part
of the county of the Montauban-family. 9 October 1206, baron
Dragonet de Montauban and his son Raymond exchanged with Eliarde,
abesse of Saint-Cesaire of Arles, Mirabel and its surroundings for
the signeurship of Vinsobres.
After annexation of the baronnies by the Dauphin, Mirabel grew in importance (it had even its own money) and in number of habitants. The castle was fortified and enlarged, the chapel of St-Julien was rebuilt. The domaine de Beaulieu, at the south of Mirabel became one of the principal residences of the Dauphin. In the 14th century Mirabel was heavily damaged by the religion-based wars.
Until 1348 Mirabel-aux-Baronnies did have a Jewish quarter called Les Josiols, positioned outside the walls on the north next to the creek Françonne. Due to the suspicion they caused the pest, the Jews were either expelled or assassinated in 1348. The houses in the quarter were destroyed.
After the arrival of Protestantism in the region, Mirabel-aux-Baronnies changed a lot. First, the chapel of St-Julien was destroyed and in 1633 the castle and a part of the walls. Those walls were restored in 1652 because again the pest was feared, and equipped with 4 new gates. The present church is reconstructed on the remains of the old chapel during 1645-1651. Between 1790 en 1800, Mirabel was chief-lieu of the Canton. After July 1794 (murder of Robespierre) Mirabel was a major centre of royalist parties.
Mirabel-aux-Baronnies was one of the first villages having a public water system. In 1876, Italian specialists were hired. They lived for several years in Mirabel and even had an own school for their children. The water coming from the source Tune, more than 4 km (2.5 mi) outside the village, was captured and fed into a system of in-situ made concrete tubes of 20 cm diameter (see figure), alimenting 2 fountains and 4 reservoirs (F: lavoir) with fresh drinking water. The fountains, one of which originates already from the of the 13th century that was later adapted for use with the water system, are still in good condition. Those eldest fountain is situated on the old market-square.
Nowadays, the population (1600 inhabitants, 2005) lives from
agriculture (olives, vineyards) and
Underneath figure shows the development of the number of habitants through time (source: Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques).
Friday is (food)market day in Mirabel. Between 30th of November
until the end of February on Saturday olive-market starting at 8 o
Clock in the morning. Antiques-market 1st and 3rd Sunday from June
till September. "Fete du Vin" 15st of August.
Tourists Office, Postal Office, 2 Bakeries, 1 "bureau de tabac", 2 restaurants, 1 butcher, 1 Antique bookseller.
The remains of the walls
The old fountain
Part of the in 1876 in situ made concrete tube of the watersystem, during reparation and connection of a tap 2006