From 26/04 to 28/08


Carcassonne, the medieval city

Wonder of the Aude, in the heart of the Cathar country, the city of Carcassonne is classified as a world heritage site by UNESCO. Its enchanting decor, as if it had stepped out of time, leaves no visitor indifferent. Exceptional historical heritage, the fortified city of Carcassonne was restored in the 19th century, partly under the direction of Viollet-le-Duc. Its early classification as a Historic Monument in 1849 was responsible for its formidable restoration and its current state of preservation. Surrounded by a double wall and with 52 towers, the upper town of Carcassonne has a unique silhouette, visible from afar from the plain of the Aude.

The walk on the city walls is a must for any visit to Carcassonne. It offers an exceptional panorama of the Black Mountain to the north, the Pyrenees and the entire lower town to the west.

A real fortress in itself, the castle of Carcassonne is defended by its own enclosure, by a dry moat and a barbican. It has two dungeons, eight towers and a watchtower. The wooden galleries protecting the parapet walk, called “hourds”, generally absent from medieval castles that can be visited today, were recreated by Viollet-le-Duc at the very beginning of the 20th century. The castle can be visited. Its rooms are decorated with frescoes, enriched with exhibitions and animated with videos.

A bishopric since the 6th century A.D., Carcassonne also has a cathedral: the Romanesque nave, built in the 10th century, was enlarged in the 13th and 14th centuries to become the current radiating Gothic building, Saint-Nazaire-et-Saint-Celse. The former cloister of the cathedral now houses an open-air theater, inaugurated in 1908 by the actors of the Comédie Française. Since 1957, the city has hosted a renowned annual theater festival. The place is animated in all seasons of theater performances, but also concerts of current music, operas or ballets.

The upper city of Carcassonne, within the ramparts, can finally be visited freely, according to your desires and strolls, between lively terraces on the shaded squares, art and craft workshops in the cobbled streets, museums, restaurants and numerous stores.

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