Carcassonne is Europe’s largest fortified city that still stands today. It is located in Aude, a department in the southern French region of Occitanie.
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The UNESCO World Heritage Site of the old city of Carcassonne is every bit as enchanting when you see it in real life as it is in the photos.
How Carcassonne got its name
Its legacy goes back centuries, ancient tribes inhabited the area, the Romans arrived and built a fort – they called it Carcasso. The city changed hands several times, its history was colourful, it’s always been sought after. There is a legend that the Emperor Charlemagne laid siege to the fortified city for five long years in the 8th century. On learning that her people had just one pig and a bag of wheat left to survive on, the reigning princess, Dame Carcas, had the pig fed on the wheat and thrown over the ramparts. Charlemagne, believing that the inhabitants must have so much food stored they could afford to chuck it away called off the siege. Dame Carcas had the bells of the city rung in victory, “Carcas… sonne” it was said, “Carcassonne is ringing” – hence the name.
Read more from source: The Medieval City of Carcassonne
The Unesco World Heritage Site and fortified city of Carcassonne in the south of France has received an artistic makeover and locals are not too happy. Large yellow circles have donned the walls of the famous fortress known as Cité de Carcassonne that were designed by contemporary Swiss artist Felice Varini. The artist, famed for his eye-catching creations, was commissioned to design a piece that would celebrate 20 years of its Unesco status.
Dubbed “eccentric, concentric circles,” the work features 15 thin, painted aluminium sheets that form rings depending on how you view them as you walk through the historic site. However, not all residents are content with this new look. “It’s ignoble. And it’s expensive. Already we do not have the budgets to maintain or repair the citadel,” a shopkeeper told Le Parisien.
A petition has also been set up by those who object to the artistic creation. Addressed to Gérard Larrat, Mayor of Carcassonne, the letter outlines the anger of locals stating that they did not have their say in the overall idea. They have received almost 2000 signatures to date.
Defiant artist Felice Varini defended his work following backlash, claiming the circles matched the ancient city walls ‘perfectly’
AN artist sparked outrage after he “desecrated” the ramparts of a French castle by covering its medieval walls and turrets with giant bright yellow circles.
Felice Varini glued dizzying rings made of thin aluminium strips across the historic stones of Carcassonne Castle – France’s second-most visited tourist site after the Eiffel Tower.
The massive hilltop citadel in the Languedoc-Roussillon region now resembles a giant target at a shooting range – and not everyone is pleased.
Drawing more than four million visitors every year, the medieval fortified town was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
Tourism Carcassonne, who have been promoting the site’s new look, said the stripes are “eccentric concentric circles”, part of an event showcasing heritage and contemporary art in the area.
The organisation said Varini’s spiralling artwork “spread like a wave, fragmenting and recomposing the geometry of the circles on the towers and curtain walls of the fortifications”.
Read more from source: Fury as artist ‘ruins’ one of Europe’s best castles with giant yellow circles