Visit Carcassonne : 5 unmissable sites
Carcassonne is a medieval city located in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France. The city is known for its well-preserved walled fortress, which dates back to the 12th century. Carcassonne’s fortified city has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.
The city is also home to the Basilica of Saint-Nazaire, a Romanesque and Gothic-style church that was built between the 11th and 14th centuries. Visitors to Carcassonne can also explore the Château Comtal, a castle within the walls of the city that was originally built in the 12th century.
Carcassonne is easily accessible by train, with connections to major cities such as Toulouse, Montpellier, and Paris. There is also a small airport located nearby, with flights to several destinations in Europe.
Here are five places to visit in Carcassonne:
The Citadel of Carcassonne is a fortified city in southern France and one of the most iconic landmarks of the region. The Citadel was originally built in the 12th century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Citadel is surrounded by a double wall and 52 towers, making it an impressive sight to behold.
Visitors to the Citadel can walk along the ramparts and explore the maze of narrow streets and ancient buildings that make up the city. The inner city is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and attractions, including the Basilica of Saint-Nazaire and the Château Comtal.
One of the best ways to experience the Citadel is to take a guided tour. There are several tour companies that offer guided tours of the city, including walking tours, bike tours, and Segway tours. These tours provide an in-depth look at the history and architecture of the Citadel, as well as interesting anecdotes and stories about the people who lived there.
The Citadel of Carcassonne is a fascinating destination for history buffs, architecture enthusiasts, and anyone looking to experience the charm and beauty of southern France.
The Basilica of Saint-Nazaire
The Basilica of Saint Nazaire is a beautiful Romanesque and Gothic-style church located within the walls of the Citadel of Carcassonne in southern France. The basilica was built between the 11th and 14th centuries and is a remarkable example of medieval architecture.
The exterior of the Basilica of Saint Nazaire features stunning stone carvings and sculptures, including intricate designs on the tympanum above the main portal. The interior of the church is equally impressive, with soaring vaulted ceilings, tall pillars, and beautiful stained glass windows.
One of the most notable features of the basilica is the intricate carvings on the capitals of the columns that support the nave. These carvings depict scenes from the Bible, as well as mythological and historical figures.
Visitors to the Basilica of Saint Nazaire can take a guided tour or explore the church on their own. Audio guides are available in multiple languages, providing visitors with a detailed explanation of the history and significance of the church.
The Basilica of Saint Nazaire is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting the Citadel of Carcassonne. The church is a remarkable example of medieval architecture and a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the artisans who built it.
The Château comtal – Visit Carcassonne
The Canal de Midi
The Canal du Midi is a 240-kilometer-long canal in southern France that connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. The canal was built in the 17th century as a means of transporting goods between the two coasts of France, and today it is a popular destination for tourists.
The Canal du Midi runs through the heart of Carcassonne and is a beautiful place to visit. Visitors can take a leisurely walk along the canal towpath or rent a bike to explore the surrounding countryside. Boat tours are also available, allowing visitors to relax and enjoy the scenery while cruising along the canal.
Along the Canal du Midi, visitors can enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding countryside, including vineyards, orchards, and charming villages. The canal is also home to a variety of wildlife, including fish, birds, and even beavers.
One of the most popular attractions along the Canal du Midi is the Fonserannes Locks, a series of eight locks that raise and lower boats over a height of 21 meters. Visitors can watch as boats navigate through the locks, a feat of engineering that is still impressive more than 300 years after the canal was built.
The Canal du Midi is a beautiful and peaceful place to visit, offering visitors a chance to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of southern France. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely walk, a bike ride, or a boat tour, the Canal du Midi is a must-see destination in Carcassonne.
The Torture Museum (The Musée de l’Inquisition) – Visit Carcassonne
The Musée de l’Inquisition, also known as the Torture Museum, is located in Carcassonne and offers a glimpse into the dark history of the Inquisition and the methods of torture and punishment used during that time.
The museum is located in the historic building of Maison des Mémoires, which was once the residence of the Inquisitors in Carcassonne. It houses a collection of instruments of torture and punishment, as well as displays that illustrate the methods used to extract confessions from people accused of heresy, witchcraft, and other crimes.
Visitors to the Musée de l’Inquisition can see various devices such as iron maidens, spiked chairs, and other gruesome implements of torture that were used during the Middle Ages. There are also displays and information about the various forms of punishment used during the Inquisition, such as being burned at the stake or hung by the neck until dead.
The Musée de l’Inquisition is not for the faint of heart, but it provides an informative and sobering reminder of the cruelty and brutality that existed during that time period. It’s a unique and thought-provoking museum that offers visitors an opportunity to reflect on the history of human rights and the importance of justice and compassion in our society.