Carcassonne, the most preserved medieval town in EuropeSeptember 23, 2016
Carcassonne, the medieval town, best preserved in Europe, historical heritage of UNESCO, It is located in southern France, near the border with Spain.
The city is divided between the old town protected by walls and new city.
Because of its location it is easier to go to town, being in Spain or French Coast, as we live in Barcelona, we are very close to the city, giving to one bounces back there (day trip), the distance between the cities is 300 km, near 3h30.
I and Pri, like a lot of medieval towns, Roman or very old and have visited some of them as: Dubrovnik, Toledo, Girona, Tossa de Mar, Tarragona e Ait Ben Haddou and we had a great desire to know, Carcassone was because of the city's history that Aunt Pri always told, and say that is the medieval city best preserved in Europe.
While we're living in Barcelona, and the visit of the uncles of Pri, we decided to rent a car and go there, for the city.
We made a bounces back, we left Barcelona early near 8:30 the morning and arrived in Carcassone before noon, the road is excellent.
Things to Do in Carcassonne and what are the main attractions of Carcassonne.
We arrived and went straight to the old town, which is the river Aude, We found a parking between the river and the old town, as it was Sunday was having a fair of old products (Flea Market), through the fair until you reach the town entrance, He gave up to take a free wine they were giving at the fair.
Talking a bit about the history of Carcassone in France
Built in the century 13, the fortress of Carcassone is one of the largest medieval buildings on the continent and one of the most preserved. In the past, was under the control of Cártaros, a religious group who tried to establish an offshoot of the Catholic Church in the region.
Catharism had many supporters in Carcassonne France. The Cathars were protected by Viscount Raymond Roger Trencavel (1185–1209), which meant that the city was considered the land of heresy by the Pope and consequently one of the Crusade targets, led first by the papal legacy Arnaldo Amalric and then by Simon de Montfort. In August 1209, the army of crusaders besieged Carcassonne.
The two boroughs fell quickly, having been burned and destroyed promptly. The walls and citadel's fortifications resisted the attackers, Trencavel but neglected the defense of water supply points located outside the walls because he believed that the besieged would be rapidly assisted, so the thirst and hunger forced the Viscount of Carcassonne to end two weeks of siege. Trencavel was arrested and died shortly after.
In 1240, Raymond II Trencavel, son of Raymond Roger, He led an attempted revolt of carcassonenses, which led the king Saint Louis to pursue the city's population.
In 1348 the plague ravaged Carcassonne and the rest of the country for the first time; the epidemic recurred until the next century. In the same period, the Hundred Years' War numerous causes damages. The Black Prince devastated the lower town by fire in 1355, but spared the citadel, due to the fact that a victorious siege would be too long and delay their looting.
The Bastide was partially rebuilt (only half) and fortified in 1359. The woolen fabrics industry has also developed reset and. Although Carcassonne never have been visited by King Louis XI (r. 1461–1483), This confirmed the town privileges and did not hesitate to defend it in March 1462. To learn more about the history (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carcassonne)
Returning to talk about our tour, inside the fortress there are two buildings that are mandatory stops: the Chateau Comtal and the Gothic Cathedral.
Chateau Comtal is a castle built in the main fortress, to serve as a dwelling place for the nobles and protect them from the fury of the cross, only place in town that you pay to get around 20 EUR per person, We do not enter, we find unnecessary.
Gothic cathedral, known as St Basilica. Nazario, is a beautiful building built in the stained glass floral shape and gargoyles are part of the attractions.
We walked through all the city walls from the outside and inside, until his little streets, with square, sources, wells and all, That's the most important, walk around the city, because each song has its history, about the beauty that makes us we take thousands of photos.
After touring all this came to lunch, Carcassonne and be sure to taste the typical Cassoulet, famous dish in this region of France. It is available in almost all the local restaurants, done with a white bean soup and duck meat, in concept to that somewhat resembles our feijoada or double.
The restaurant we choose to look good in front of the castle and has a terrace for lunch looking at the beauty of the place.
The most beautiful picture in my opinion, is the photo showing the entire wall out, this view is taken of the new bridge, so you can take the picture with the old bridge and castle.
As we were there only one afternoon, not given to know the city at night, must be pretty, because the entire wall and the important monuments are designed with lights on its facade.
Now it was time to take the car and go back to Barcelona, but we chose to do a path farther and spend the late afternoon early evening in Andorra, small country between France and Spain, Andorra will talk about in another post.