Village houses in the Pyrénées-Orientales

More French village houses for your delectation in this lovely department bordering the Aude; we drive through these villages when we go down to the apartment at Argeles.

We have found a new route down over the mountains and will post this road trip later this week.

This large village house in St Paul de Fenouillet is an Auberge and it’s colour palette of true terracotta, cream and pale grey/green shutters works extremely well.

Very Roussillonais. Then we have this gorgous old house in  the square in Caudiès-de-Fenouillèdes which always looks uninhabited. Will be  a story there, but it is a shame. Again, perfect palette.


lastly, one in Maury, where we always stop for a good lunch. This one has charcoal painted balconies and shutters and they look amazing.

This department is now part of Occitanie, and P.O is the last stretch between the Aude and Spain, of course, via the Pyrenees.


About coteetcampagne

Artist, period home maker, renovator, restorer, Francophile. My mission is to save the old stuff, one beautiful piece at a time
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19 Responses to Village houses in the Pyrénées-Orientales

  1. gabriele says:

    Pls substitute this link for the Red Train, much better!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. gabriele says:

    I think part of the problem with property sitting vacant is the French inheritance laws. They are very specific and it’s not what YOU want, but what the law has decided must be. Children take precedence over surviving spouse and it gets more convoluted from there. A friend who bought a house in Montsegur wanted to buy the house next to it (they had connecting rooms, etc). Problem was, the other house was part of a family estate and there were two family members with the same name. The entire name (you know how the French can have multiple names), not just the first one. And when the ancient dame who owned the hotel across the street found out he wanted to buy the house she decided that it was HER house although she had no direct claim on it.
    So it took time and lawyers and other legal people and as sometimes happens in small towns (more in the small than the large), he and his first girlfriend split and he found a French woman who appreciated him more. I had seen all the work he had done on the first house (saving the original plaster, bless the man), and I’m sure most of the work done to turn the second house into a restaurant was his, or under his direction. La Patate Qui Fume, if you’ve ever been to the little town. They’ve done very well and have been named in the Guide Routard Restos, which is an achievement which has to be earned. Quite the opposite of the Michelin guides… Rough Guides used to put out an English version of the Guide which was a miracle worker for us when we were on the road and no reservations. The Guide didn’t put out their Chambres et Restos for a couple years, and then started again in 2010…all in French of course but if you have a chance to look at a copy, you’ll see why it’s the book that the French chose…rather than the Michelin with their stars and such.
    If he had not wanted the house next door and being of a determined nature, the house would probably still be vacant. There are other vacant houses in the same village, similar situation. The person who inherits lives elsewhere and can’t be bothered.
    And yes, I love all those houses. Are you driving through Bugarach on your new route? That is one strange valley–and I said that long before the end of the world was expected.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I am fully aware of the inheritance laws. They should be closely checked with any property purchase!
      Our new route runs close to Bugarach and yes, it is a strange looking mountain and the area definitely “hums” with some “presence”!

      I feel this whole area is steeped right down to the rocks with blood and history and strange powers and each village had a different feel ( I don’t mean the inhabitants and architecture)
      There are one or two that I can’t linger in…one very popular with other folk.


      • gabriele says:

        I used to become physically ill if I spent any time in Quillan. First time blamed it on lunch, second time started becoming ill driving down from the hills to the west. I’d driven to Bugarach as there had been a gite for rent there that I’d considered (found one in Mirepoix I greatly preferred). So glad I didn’t rent there…very isolated, and a feeling of bleakness, sort of place I’d imagine a Bronte novel taking place.
        As you’re driving thru the valley, look to the south, the hills above the valley. I had felt very strongly drawn to them and using a detailed map (from the rental house) figured out how to get up there. There had been a chateau owned by a noble family who were Cathar sympathisers. To avoid problems, the chateau and land were turned over to another family or Templars (lots of Templars in the area, and around the Fenouillèt. (Research is ongoing) The place is a ruin, and by that I mean barely piles of stones. There’s an old church in Le Bezu which probably dates from the 10th or 11th century also. Local people rescued it and while I’ve not seen the interior, the exterior looks good now. From the heights there one can see across the Bugarach valley to the hills opposite…which is where Rennes-le-Chateau is. So yes, a very odd bit of this particular part of the south of France.
        And since not everyone knows about the Red Train, here’s info on the tourist train from Axat to Rivesaltes:

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Colin Bisset says:

    Swooning over the shutter hinges…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bizzy says:

    I’m going to go for the last one. Clean, elegant, probably not too much work. Maybe add skylights. Definitely move and upgrade the dish — they have much less obtrusive ones now. Window film at ground level. If it has a nice garden and equally large windows in back, maybe a view… Ooh, with a view, I’d make the top floor a huge ensuite and enlarge the back windows. That house could be a keeper.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. poshbirdy says:

    Ooh, the one next to the tabac for me, please! SO pretty x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Angelica says:

    I bought an old house in one of the villages of the Pyrenees Orientales. It is a winegrower house and I am renovated it, keeping its traditional features. I tried to attach a pictures but your system doesn’t allow. The region is lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Osyth says:

    They are all delicious but the one you think uninhabited has me at Go! The mix of stonework and brickwork (lovely lovely red the brick) and those shutters and their glorious ironwork have me in a frenzy of covetousness. I am very certain I am living the wrong life … surely I am meant to have the budget to rescue multiple houses and turn them to useful purpose housing those in need. Dreams. I will always have dreams ….

    Liked by 1 person

  8. francetaste says:

    They’re so pretty! The French have such a knack for colors. And for keeping those old buildings.

    Liked by 2 people

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