Le marche nocturne

In the summer the town of Quillan really comes alive, with an influx of tourists and a programme of events and activities sponsored by the local commercants around the Place de la Republique.

One of the regular features is a night market – ‘sous la lune’, which takes place outside our windows from 6pm-midnight every Thursday evening in July and August.

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Artists and artisans come from the area to sell their wares or ply their trade – and there’s the usual fair paraphernalia of candyfloss and cheap tat. The three cars and bar in the square spread their tables across the street, the umbrellas are raised, and musical accompaniment begins around 7pm.

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Early trade is quiet, but it really starts humming after 10pm. At that time there’s a buzz in the square and a bit more money seems to change hands. Patrons eat and drink around the edge of the square, while others amble or listen to the music. Kids run around causing merriment – and mayhem – until late. Mt Victoria is going to seem positively tame after this.

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