Saturday, April 27, 2019

A to Z X-tra Carcassonne

I really don't know how many times I’ve been to La Cité Carcassonne. It is a place I never tire of seeing because I always find something new each time we go. My first visit was in the early 80s when I stayed at the youth hostel there. Since then I’ve gone numerous times with my husband, our kids, and friends. Le Quatorze Juillet, The Fourteenth of July (Bastille Day) is beyond amazing to see there. There is a lower, modern city of the same name on the plain below La Cité, but we only visit the fortified Cité up on the hill.

Carcassonne’s main claim to fame, besides being used in films, etc., is, that it’s the oldest continuously lived in fortified city in Europe. (The site has been occupied in different forms over 5000 years!) It may not be the oldest fortified city, but no other has been continuously lived in without some breaks here and there. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

During our last visit

La Dame Carcas, who saved the city, so it is told...

Winding streets, restaurants, shops spectacular views of the city and countryside are only a few of the marvels this place has to offer. The origin of its name is from (it had a Celtic name Carsac, before the Romans), the tale of a lady named Carcas, who saved the city from capitulating to a siege by taking all the remaining food, feeding it to a pig, then having the pig thrown over the walls to show the enemy they still had plenty of food left. It worked and the enemy left!

There are folks who live her full time

You can see the modern city below...

The reason the tower roofs are all different is because when restored, they didn't really know which style was the original!

Seeing a show here is magnificent. We saw the Barber of Seville, Opera de Plein Air

I didn't know they had room within the walls of the city for this!

Down below, the jousting field...

Underground, the ruins of a Roman villa. I got down on my knees and stuck my camera through a vent to get photos!

The last time we were there was just last year, and we didn’t get to stay long. We’d planned to spend the day there but, terrorism struck and not only were we locked into a restaurant in the Cité, but the police closed the entire Cité down and we had to leave as soon as it was safe. You might have heard about what happened on the news. We were saddened by what happened and went to visit a vineyard soon after to remind us of where we were and how precious life is.

Our son particularly liked the carved faces and gargoyles.

Never ending views...

Just to give an idea of the sheer size

My kids the last time we went with them in 2009...memories are wonderful.

Carcassonne is one of the places I ALWAYS recommend when someone asks what to do in France. We will go back again, and we will make more memories there because it is X-tra special to us, and always will be.


  1. Hi Lisa - glad you've listed your other A-X posts here ... I'll be back to read. I've always wanted to visit Carcassonne and sincerely hope I can get to visit - you've given us a wonderful series of photos - great X for Xtra - cheers Hilary

  2. That is an intriguing and beautiful place, wow!

  3. I love the views and your photos. Amazing! I hope one day I get to see this place.
    The terrorism struck I bet that was scary.

  4. An Xtra place indeed, I love Carcassonne too!


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