16th Century Row House in Hamlet of Village home swap
My renovated stone house in the foothills of the Pyrenees is 2 1/2 stories (bottom level partly underground--some of that level is "cave" for wines and misc., the rest is entryway and bath with tub/shower and washer/dryer. Middle floor is bedroom with double bed, bookcases, cupboards, desk, table, fireplace with wood stove & half-bath. Top level is living/dining/kitchen and sliding glass doors to balcony with lovely mountain view. There is a fold-out sofa that makes a double bed. Puivert is a village with a Cathar chateau (where several movies have been made), a small lake, and easy access to the Mediterranean (about an hr's drive); (Barcelona about 4 hrs); and high Pyrenees in less than an hr. A large stone set into a top-floor wall was hidden in a low corner of the middle level when I bought the house--it has mysterious symbols that might be Basque, although this is not Basque country. Nobody is sure what they are. The house has many books--I am a poet and the recent widow of a fiction writer. The house is actually in what we like to call "the suburb of the village"--it's called Le Hameau (hamlet) de Campsadourny. There are seven hamlets surrounding the village, all former Roman camps.
About the location
It's known as "Cathar country," where in the Middle Ages the heretic Cathar sect was persecuted and finally eliminated by the Inquisition. There are many interesting Cathar and other chateaux in the region, available to visit. Puivert's chateau has a "music room" where musical festivals were once held and Eleanor of Aquitaine was said to be a frequent visitor. A museum in the village illuminates the history of the region. Nearby Carcassonne's walled city is famous for its fairy-tale beauty, although criticized for liberties taken with its restoration. And a wonderfully preserved and beautiful Medieval village, Mirepoix, is close by. There are open markets in nearly all the villages in the summer, with the best ones on different days of the week. It's also wine country---with many vineyards and "caves" that can be visited. Limoux, between Puivert and Carcassonne, is the home of Blanquette de Limoux, a sparkling wine that preceded Champagne. Like Champagne, it can be found in many qualities and prices. I'm told by a U.S. wine merchant that the Blanquette de Limoux I buy in the U.S. for about $12 is equivalent to a $50 Champagne. Languedoc has begun to be serious wine country. The Tour-de-France often passes through Puivert. It's an incredibly beautiful region and one not very much known by Americans. British people have been moving into the area but few Americans. For anyone who's read Dan Brown's novels, the village of Rennes-le-Chateau is very nearby and truly eerie and worth visiting.
There are three restaurants in Puivert at the moment, one, "Le Buvette," at the lake--a covered outdoor place with good local food; one an Afghan restaurant that also serves pizza, and a new one that I can't remember the name of but has "gourmand" in its name, and does serve large portions--good food. Many restaurants in the area--the full range of quality.
Type of home swap
- Home Exchange
- Open to Offers
Conditions of home exchange
- Non smokers only
- No pets allowed
- Local restaurants
- Horse Riding
- Car recommended
Closest airport: Carcassonne & Toulouse
Nearest city: 11230
Property type: House
Location type: near Carcassonne