Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne

 France
Department of Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon Region
N43 12 38 E2 21 32
Date of Inscription: 1997
Criteria: (ii)(iv)
Property : 11 ha
Buffer zone: 1,358 ha
Ref: 345rev
News Links/Travelogues: 

Since the pre-Roman period, a fortified settlement has existed on the hill where Carcassonne now stands. In its present form it is an outstanding example of a medieval fortified town, with its massive defences encircling the castle and the surrounding buildings, its streets and its fine Gothic cathedral. Carcassonne is also of exceptional importance because of the lengthy restoration campaign undertaken by Viollet-le-Duc, one of the founders of the modern science of conservation.

Justification for Inscription

The Committee decided to inscribe this property on the basis of criteria (ii) and (iv), considering that the historic town of Carcassonne is an excellent example of a medieval fortified town whose massive defences were constructed on walls dating from Late Antiquity. It is of exceptional importance by virtue of the restoration work carried out in the second half of the 19th century by Viollet-le-Duc, which had a profound influence on subsequent developments in conservation principles and practice.

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3 replies »

  1. While the inside of La Cité is pedestrian-only and interesting, I much prefer photos taken OUTSIDE the entire fortress rather than of the inside town. The outside walls of the fortress are absolutely stunning.

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  2. Carcassonne is stunning, both from the inside and out. One of the best views of it is from Pont Vieux, crossing the Aude River. The fortified city is well lit at night, so if you catch the view at dusk, you get an amazing look at the golden shades of the wall paired against the sky – the kind of stuff postcards are made of.

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