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Walled City of Carcassonne

Carcassonne Castle and Ramparts

Located 45 minutes from Quillan, Carcassonne stands on the right bank of the Aude River, South-East from the modern town. Occupied since the 6th century BC, Carcassonne was a Roman town, fortified during the late Roman Empire before becoming a medieval town. It is a remainder of 1000 years of military architecture and 2600 years of history, guarantee of a rich and varied visit, including of numerous unique features: ramparts, wall walks, a projection room and a lapidary museum.
In 1998, Carcassonne became a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Carcassonne served as the residence of the powerful Trencavel family in the 11th and 12th centuries, but its destiny changed during the Albigensian Crusade. During the 1209 siege, Viscount Raymont Roger Trencavel was taken prisoner by the Crusaders. Carcassonne and its domains were given to the new Crusade chief, Simon de Montfort. His son, Amaury de Montfort, then passed it to the King of France in 1224, abandoning his family’s rights in the South of France in 1226.

Saved from demolition thanks to Carcassonne scholars such as Cros-Mayrevieille and to the actions of Prosper Mérimée, Carcassonne was restored in the 19th century through a huge restoration programme undertaken by the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, commissioned by the French government. The fame of its double wall and 52 towers has made a visit to Carcassonne an unmissable experience.

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The highlights:

• Discover the theatre of Carcassonne during the annual Summer festival.
• Escape the crowd and visit the town by night. The colours and lights make it an unforgettable experience.
Comité Départemental du Tourisme de l'Aude
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