Carcassonne is the prefecture of the department of Aude in the Occitania region, in France. The city is between Toulouse and Montpellier. At the last census of 2014, the commune counted 45,941 inhabitants called « Carcassonnais ».
I know this town well because I went every summer when I was young because I had family. I stayed there several weeks in the summer with my great-grandmother who made me visit the city in various ways. Now I often stop there when I drive between Montpellier and Toulouse to see my boyfriend wich is from there…!
The city is best known for the « Cité de Carcassonne », a medieval architectural ensemble restored by Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th century and listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1997. It is the main tourist attraction of the city with nearly 4 Million visitors each year, including nearly 500,000 visits to the castle and the ramparts. It is the second most visited tourist site in France after Mont-Saint-Michel.
It is a medieval ensemble unique in Europe because of its size and its state of conservation. The city is surrounded by two rows of ramparts and has a castle, the comtal castle, and the Saint-Nazaire basilica.
Inside the city there are several shops, restaurants, typical shops but also incredible monuments: the Castle Comtal (a place of power, a fortress that housed the viscounts of Carcassonne).
I have also access to the ramparts of the city, a lapidary museum and a permanent exhibition on the restoration of the city in the 19th century, the Saint-Nazaire basilica (a Romanesque church dating from the 11th century, Of historic monuments by the 1840 list).
The firework of the 14th of July in the City of Carcassonne is incredible every year. More than 700,000 people flock to the banks of the Aude every year to witness the incredible fireworks display. From 22:30 and for more than 25 minutes you can admire a spectacular blaze and a grand finale. More than 1200 impacts in 6 seconds over 600 meters of façade. To attend the pyrotechnic show on the evening of July 14 at 10:30 pm and be able to park without too much trouble, I advise you to arrive in Carcassonne late morning or early afternoon at the latest. It’s really worth it, I guarantee!
The Canal du Midi, also known as the Deux-Mers canal because it links the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, is a waterway that has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. The arrival of the Canal du Midi Urban did a lot of transformations in the lower city.
The cuisine of Carcassonne is a typically south-western cuisine based on farm products such as poultry and vegetables. Specialties from Carcassonne such as ham, gizzards of fowl, confit of goose and duck, small Carcassonnais, chocolates of the City, cobbles of the City, sandstone of the City and bricks of the City , Can be enjoyed in the city.