Carcassonne, France Hotels, Resorts & Hotel Accommodations

go back to home page home page / Europe / France / Carcassonne

  

Country FRANCE

CARCASSONNE
(regional info)

***Browse Hotels in Carcassonne, France by comparative pricing
Carcassonne hotels, resorts & accommodations
Carcassonne Regional Directory
Google Images: Carcassonne
Google Video: Carcassonne
Google Map: Carcassonne
Wikipedia: Carcassonne
Carcassonne is a fortified French town in the Aude département, of which it is the prefecture, in the former province of Languedoc. It is separated into the fortified Cité de Carcassonne and the more expansive lower city, the ville basse. The folk etymologyinvolving a châtelaine named Carcas, a ruse ending a siege and the joyous ringing of bells ("Carcas sona")though memorialized in a neo-Gothic sculpture of Mme Carcas on a column near the Narbonne Gateis of modern invention. The fortress, which was thoroughly restored in 1853 by the theorist and architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997. read full wikipedia reference about Carcassonne, France

Right on the main Toulouse-Montpellier train link, CARCASSONNE couldn't be easier to reach; and for anyone travelling through this region it is a must - one of the most dramatic, if also most-visited, towns in the whole of Languedoc. Carcassonne owes its division into two separate "towns" - the Cité and the Ville Basse - to the wars against the Cathars. Following Simon de Montfort's capture of the town in 1209, its people tried in 1240 to restore their traditional ruling family, the Trencavels. In reprisal King Louis IX expelled them, only permitting their return on condition they built on the low ground by the River Aude.

The attractions of the well-preserved and lively ville basse notwithstanding, what everybody comes for is the Cité , the double-walled and turreted fortress that crowns the hill above the River Aude. From a distance it's the epitome of the fairytale medieval town. Viollet-le-Duc rescued it from ruin in 1844, and his "too-perfect" restoration has been furiously debated ever since. It is, as you would expect, a real tourist trap. Yet, in spite of the chintzy cafés, arty-crafty shops and the crowds, you'd have to be a very stiff-necked purist not to be moved at all.

To reach the Cité from the ville basse , take bus #2 from outside the station, or a navette from square Gambetta. Alternatively, you can walk it in under thirty minutes, crossing the Pont-Vieux and climbing rue Barbacane, past the church of St-Gimer to the sturdy bastion of the Porte d'Aude . This is effectively the back entrance - the main gate is Porte Narbonnaise , round on the east side.

There is no charge for admission to the streets or the grassy lices - "lists" - between the walls, though cars are banned from 10am to 6pm. However, to see the inner fortress of the Château Comtal and to walk the walls, you'll have to join a guided tour (daily: April, May & Oct 9.30am-6pm; June-Sept 9.30am-7.30pm; Nov-March 9.30am-5pm). The seventy- to ninety-minute tours - several per day in English from June to September - assume some knowledge of French history, pointing out the various phases in the construction of the fortifications, from Roman to Visigothic to Romanesque and to the post-Cathar adaptations of the French kings.

In addition to wandering the narrow streets, don't miss the beautiful church of St-Nazaire (daily 9-11.45am & 1.45-6pm), towards the southern corner of the Cité at the end of rue St-Louis. It's a serene combination of Romanesque nave with carved capitals and Gothic transepts and choir adorned with some of the loveliest stained glass in Languedoc. In the south transept is a tombstone believed to belong to Simon de Montfort senior. You can also climb the tower (same hours), for spectacular views over the Cité.

  

OTHER POPULAR DESTINATIONS IN FRANCE
   
Abbeville
Aix En Provence
Ajaccio
Albi
Amiens
Angers
Annecy
Antibes Juan Les Pins
Arles
Avignon
Bandol
Bayeux
Bayonne
Beaulieu Sur Mer
Beaune
Besancon
Biarritz
Blois
Bordeaux
Boulogne
Bourges
Brest
Caen
Cagnes
Calais
Calvi
Cannes
Carcassone
Carnac
Chalon sur Saone
Chambery
Chamonix
Chartres
Cherbourg
Clermont Ferrand
Colmar
Courbevoie
Deauville
Dieppe
Dijon
Dinard
Evian
Futuroscope
Gordes
Grasse
Grenoble
Honfleur
Hyeres
Juan Les Pins
La Baule
La Rochelle
Le Havre
Le Mans
Le Mont St. Michel
Le Touquet
Les Sables d'Orlonne
Lille
Limoges
Lorient
Lourdes
Lyon
Macon
Malo
Marseille
Menton
Merignac
Metz
Montpellier
Mulhouse
Nancy
Nantes
Nice
Nimes
Orleans
Paris
Paris A - Paris C
Paris D - Paris J
Paris K - Paris Y
Pau
Perigueux
Perpignan
Poitiers
Quimper
Reims
Rennes
Roissy
Rouen
Strasbourg
Toulon
Toulouse
Tours
Troyes
Valence
Vannes
Versailles
Vichy


copyright (c) 2013 1t23.com hotel reservations network
All rights reserved

commercial advertisement