Located on the eastern bank of the river Aude, the city of Carcassonne is known above all as a fortified medieval town. This rocky spur has been occupied since the 6th century BC, first by the Gauls, then by the Romans who equipped the city with ramparts in the 3rd and 4th centuries. On the western side of this fortification is the castle built in the 12th century by the illustrious Viscounts Trencavel, called the Château Comtal. At the beginning of the 13th century, Carcassonne was taken by Simon de Montfort during the Albigensian crusade, and then annexed to the royal domain. Fortification work continued throughout the 13th century, with the construction of the outer wall and the modernisation of the inner rampart. Carcassonne lost its importance after the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659. In the second half of the 19th century, it underwent a huge restoration project under the direction of Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. It is now listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site. To see: the castle comtal (medieval city) and the basilica Saint-Nazaire (Bastide Saint-Louis). More surprising, discover the stories and anecdotes of the occupation of the city during the Second World War...

The must-see places in Carcassonne

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