the best period
Spring and Autumn
Stroll through the medieval streets of the old town, climb to the top of the towers, see the flamboyant stained-glass windows in the basilica… and then relax with a drink in the shade of a terrace...
Recommandé par Marc
The first view of the Cité is truly impressive! The imagination soars at the sight of the portcullis. Go through the Narbonnaise Gate with its two gigantic towers, the main entrance to the medieval town.
You feel like you are venturing to the heart of the Middle Ages and entering an unknown world! Off we go!
It's easy to access the Cité. There are large car parks opposite the monument, just a few minutes' walk away. Admission to the Cité is free. You only need to pay to see the castle/museum.
The Cité is a village where people still live. You get there along a gently rising street leading to the impressive barbican and its metal gates. This is the entrance to the castle, formerly the palace of the Viscounts of Carcassonne. This is where we're heading.
Entering the castle, the "fortress inside the fortress", gives you an idea of life in the Middle Ages. The monument and its wide-ranging systems of defence are gigantic. You can easily imagine yourself surrounded by squires, troubadours and fair damsels in this vast and impressive place!
Did you know ?
The statue welcoming you at the entrance to the Cité depicts Dame Carcas. All the inhabitants of Carcassonne know it. According to legend, she gave her name to the city by means of a cunning trick. Blending myth and reality...
We opted for the guided visit with an expert, the most in-depth visit. The guide takes you back in time with stories and anecdotes about the turbulent history of the town and its inhabitants.
We arrive at the outer walls. With the wind in your hair, you'll be amazed by the sight.
Everyone takes a break to enjoy the view! The medieval ramparts look down on the town. Towers with many different shapes, the castellated spire of the basilica, the pink roofs of the Cité and an exceptional view over the lower town, the Black Mountain and the Pyrenees. A 360° view!
The visit to the castle continues from room to room and through a maze of staircases and corridors, and concludes with the bookshop-boutique with some great souvenirs. Our walk then continues along the paved, winding streets of the old town, with its medieval shops and houses…
From one street to the next, you go from a lively, dynamic atmosphere with children laughing and shouting, to alleyways filled with silence. Then you really feel you have travelled 8 centuries back in time!
We are standing on the Basilica Saint-Nazaire forecourt.
Be careful, the gargoyles are watching! The outside is plain and simple, and gives no sign of the flamboyance inside. The building brilliantly combines Romanesque and Gothic styles, with colourful stained-glass windows. Red, yellow, blue… when the sun shines through them, the effect is almost hypnotic.
A place inspiring an experience of serenity.
The ultimate aim: a daydream in the sunshine with a seat on a terrace. This is all part of Carcassonne, too!
Try a little glass of regional wine with a few olives, some sunshine and friends, and all in an exceptional setting. Pure bliss!