The Cité de Carcassonne has stood the test of time – From invading Romans and Visigoths to becoming a military stronghold, and eventually inspiring Disney.
Located in France’s South-Western Occitanie region, the fortified town of Carcassonne has a vibrant history stretching back as far as the 5th Century BCE. From the Iberians, to the Romans, and then the Visigoths, the town has seen various civilizations come and go across its storied history.
Its beautifully-preserved buildings provided inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty,and continue to enchant tourists to this very day. In 1997, the Medieval Cité de Carcassonne was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list, meaning the citadel and its surroundings will remain in top condition for generations to come. Below is just a brief history of this incredible, historic site from its earliest beginnings to its status today.
5th Century BCE to 8th Century CE: Early Settlements in the Area
There is evidence that the site of what would one day become Carcassonne’s walled city has been inhabited since as early as the 3500 BCE.