Carcassonne is a historic place considered to be the largest medieval complex of this kind in Europe. Kevin Costner was amazed with its beauty, to such an extent that he decided to film "Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves" here.
Europe's most beautiful fortified town lies in the south of France, in the department of Aude. It has about 47 000 residents, and - as an important tourist resort – is visited by nearly 3 million visitors from different countries each year. In 1997, its old part was inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The beauty of Carcassonne consists of many factors, ranging from comely cobblestone streets, huge gates and drawbridges, ending with hills covered with acres of vines, stretching in the area. Besides, it’s beautifully situated in the immediate vicinity of the Pyrenees.
The city of knights
Carcassonne is divided into two parts: upper and lower. The top is a fortified stronghold known as Cité. It’s surrounded by a huge double defensive walls with gates, bastions and 53 shooter towers. Each of the strips was made in different time - the outer walls were built in Roman times, while the internal were built in the sixth century. In the very center of the complex there’s a castle built on a square plan as well as a Gothic church, Basilica of Saint-Nazaire.
An unforgettable experience is a visit to Carcassonne in July and August. In this time visitors can get the impression that time hasn’t only stopped here, but that it goes back. In the summer season there’s a lot of costume performances and knights’ tournaments, you can also listen to live music from the Middle Ages. You can also watch falconry shows.
The Lower City
The upper part of the city attracts tourists passionate about chivalry, while the bottom offers completely different things. Especially noteworthy is the seventeenth century Canal du Midi stretching all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. Its length reaches 175 miles. Tourists are also attracted by two religious monuments - the Cathedral of St.-Michel from the thirteenth century and the church of St.-Vincent, built in the next century.
At the Place Carnot, you can sit in one of the dozens of small restaurants, cafes and bars. There’s also plenty of boutiques, shops and stalls. On the street stalls you can buy vegetables and fruit s, as well as medieval props such as crowns, scepter, swords and guns. The place is fun and colorful, while eyes of tourists are attracted by very colorful fabrics. The air is filled with calming aroma of lavender - the region is famous for its cultivation.
Camping in Carcassonne
People, who fell in love with Carcassonne won’t have any problems with finding an accommodation. If someone likes to stay in the city a bit longer, can opt for the offer of one of numerous hotels, guest rooms as well as 4-star Camping de la Cité, open from 23.03 to 05.10. It’s located 3 km from Canal du Midi, and you can easily reach the main attractions on foot. Tourists can enjoy a grassy, partially shaded pitches, separated by hedges.
For a parking space for motorhome and accommodation for 2 adults you have to pay, depending on the season, from 18,3 to 28 euros per day. Access to electricity costs 4,4 euros per day, while the pet stay - from 2,8 to 3,8 euros per day.
Due to the perfect location, the campsite is an excellent starting point for further trips in the area. There’s plenty of possibilities – Pyrenees in the south, Montagne Noire in the north, in the west Toulouse, in the east Corbières, and further, approx. 70 km away, the beaches of Narbonne and Gruissan. Approx. 20 km north there’s a charming village called Lastours with beautiful bridges and ruins of castles. The area also entices cave hikers – on the east part of the city you will find two that deserve the biggest attention: Limousis and Gouffre Geant de Cabrespine. In this region you can really lose track of time.