Carcassonne

May 2015.

If you visit France, you will certainly visit one or two châteaux.  I do not know many châteaux  there are in France . I remember asking the question to a French person but I  do not recall if I got an answer on it.  So this is something to try to figure out !

On that day,  we went to see the castle of Carassonne.  The city is famous for the medieval fortress restored by the theorist and architect  Eugène Viollet-le-Duc  in 1853 and added to the UNESCO  list of   World Heritage Sites  in 1997.

The medieval citadel at Carcassonne,  known as “La Cité”, dominates Languedoc’s tourism map. It is huge and completely over-the-top, encompassing no less than 53 towers, strung together by two enormous concentric walls, surrounded by a moat, and punctuated here and there by heavy barbicans, portcullis and draw-bridges.

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But who is Carassonne ? We had a guided tour with  a young woman who knew very well to explain the story. I wished I remember all what she said  but it was more than a year ago!!!  So I will  use google  to tell you  part of the story :

“The legend takes place in the 8th century, during the wars between Christians and Muslims in the southwest of Europe. The siege lasted for five years. Early in the sixth year, food and water were running out. Lady Carcas made an inventory of all remaining reserves. The villagers brought her a pig and a sack of wheat. She then had the idea to feed the wheat to the pig and then throw it from the highest tower of the city walls.  Charlemagne  lifted the siege, believing that the city had enough food to the point of wasting pigs fed with wheat. Overjoyed by the success of her plan, Lady Carcas decided to sound all the bells in the city. One of Charlemagne’s men then exclaimed: “Carcas sonne!” (which means “Carcas sounds”). Hence the name of the city. At the entrance of the drawbridge, a replica of Lady Carcas’s bust welcomes visitors.”

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Within these fairy-tale fortifications sits a basilica (church). The Basilica of Saints  Nazarius and Celsus  ( Basilique des Saints Nazaire et Celse) is a romanesque-gothic minor basilica. And of course, we went inside !

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We admired   beautiful stained-glass .

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We were also treated by a group of men singing.  They were also selling their CD. We took the time to listen  . It was cool in the basilica and we were  enjoying it.

A good day trip from for us.  Carcasonne is about 100km from Toulouse . It was  a fantastic  day.  A  day you know you’ll never forget !

thanks for reading and  if you leave a comment, I really appreciate it. MERCI

 

 

 

 

 

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