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Coordinates: 44°18′41″N 5°06′39″E / 44.3113888888889°N 5.11083333333333°E / 44.3113888888889; 5.11083333333333

Commune of Mirabel-aux-Baronnies

Les Josiols Drôme 200410-0019.JPG
Les Josiols area of Mirabel-aux-Baronnies
Mirabel-aux-Baronnies is located in France
Country France
Region Rhône-Alpes
Department Drôme
Arrondissement Nyons
Canton Nyons
Intercommunality Val d'Eygues
Mayor Christian Cornillac
Elevation 206–791 m (680–2,600 ft)
(avg. 263 m/860 ft)
Land area1 22.56 km2 (8.71 sq mi)
Population2 1,335  (1999)
 - 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.

Mirabel-aux-Baronnies is a commune in the Drôme department in the Rhone-Alpes region in south-eastern France.

Perched on top of a hill, Mirabel is renowned for its mild climate and beautiful scenery. Mirabel-aux-Baronnies is part of the arrondissement Nyons.
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 tourism.
Underneath figure shows the development of the number of habitants through time (source: Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques).

Daily life

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.

Sites and monuments

  • The church St Julien XIIIth century, rebuilt 1645- 1651.
  • Some remains of the old Castle XIII century.
  • The old fortifications (chemin des Barrys), XIIth century.
  • The old fountain on the Place des Armes XIIIth century.
  • The chapel N.D. de Beaulieu (2 kilometres south-west of Mirabel), the remains of the old residence of the Dauphins.
  • The chapel Calvaire.
  • The chapel St. Pierre (north-east of Mirabel, isolated).
  • Prehistorical caves called "des Hugenots" et "des Sarasins".
  • Remains of the tower of Mialon.
  • The forest of the King.


See also


  1. P. Ollivier-Elliott: Les Baronnies, ISBN 2-7449-0266-7
  2. Claude Leone-Chanot: Mirabel aux Baronnies, ISBN 2-903044-85-6
  3. ENGLISH information on todays life in Mirabel-aux-Baronnies
  4. French official website on Mirabel-aux-Baronnies
  5. More statistical information on


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