Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The City of Carcasonne, France {Part IV of VII}

Just about an hour away from Toulouse is the medieval city of Carcassonne - a well-preserved, 12th century fortified French city. Complete with drawbridges, towers with conical spires, cobbled streets, and encircled by a 3km long defensive wall, the city of Carcassonne provides the perfect setting for a fairy tale.

Some of the main sites within the ancient walled city include the castle (La Château Comtal), the basilica (La Basilique St. Nazaire), and a square (La Place Marcou). Sitting on top of a hill, the fortress offers a fantastic view over the countryside.

Almost demolished in 1849 by the French government, the city was saved by the community and in fact, restored 4 years later and preserved as a historical monument eversince. In 1997, the city of Carcassonne was inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Above: Restaurants and shops surround the square, La Place Marcou.

Above: The castle, La Château Comtal.

Above & Below: La Basilique St. Nazaire

Above: The bridge, Pont Vieux over the Aude river outside the city.

Above: View of the medieval city of Carcassonne on a hill from afar.

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