Parallax and space. Stop time. Perched on a hill, Quintalone embraces the Pyrenees mountain range, and is not turning down anything for passing visitors. This ten-person residence opened its doors in April in a restored 19th-century farmhouse, one of the auxiliary buildings to a brick mansion occupied by owners. Located between Cintegabelle and Auterive, this former agricultural area whose name can trace back to the Gallo-Roman period has kept a portion of its land. We cross them to join the Ariège River, which flows below.
On the ground floor of the gîte betting on colorful and contemporary furniture, there is a kitchen-dining room with beautiful terracotta floors, equipped with a center island and fireplace, and fits over large tables. The large, bright room opens onto the garden, its sun terrace, and its shaded patio. In the living room, with wooden floors and exposed beams, where the long stools are located, blue and violet predominate. In addition to the first bedroom for three, the upstairs is a parental suite of 56 square meters with a small reading room and bathroom area. An oak frame separates the two spaces, the living side and the night side. At the same level, a large dormitory room with hammock can accommodate up to six children.
Outside, too, Quintalone ownership takes easy. From the cottage’s private garden with a hut and games, you have access to a salt pool shared with the owners. “In general, we advise our tenants to put their car and leave the bus for hiking or cycling. A special path through the fields allows you to reach the banks of the Ariège within ten minutes to shower or build cabins. You can also go to Cintegabelle in an hour to visit the village and stroll near the factory.” Karen Baptiste explains.
The building, restored in 2003, testifies to the golden age of this 16th-century city, which was built at the confluence of the Hers and Arieg rivers thanks to the pastel trade. There were up to twenty-two windmills and protected in their surroundings by the residences of wealthy merchants, such as the Lagarde Castle or the Palace of Boisu, the king of Tisandir, the wealthy bourgeois from Toulouse. The circular bathhouse, topped by a dome with four bell towers and a central bell tower, can be seen from the RD25 towards Cintegabelle.
In the village is an interactive road that takes visitors of all ages to discover alleys, viewpoints, and historical places. It passes in particular the Church of the Nativity of Mary, in pure Southern Gothic style, and is also famous for its organ dating back to 1742 and crosses the “Barri d’en haut”, the neighborhood where craftsmen, workers and small merchants live. This is where the oldest house in the village is located. The lintel is still decorated with a conch shell and an inscription referring to the Compostela Pilgrims. Golgotha was built on the site of an ancient defensive fortress that leads to the top of the village. From there, the gaze again hugs the plain and the hills with the Pyrenees mountains as a backdrop.
Between Auterive and Cintegabelle, the Quintalone estate offers stunning views of the Pyrenees and South Lauragais. Ariège, flowing at his feet, adds to the charm of the landscape.