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.
Narbonne is a city in Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon, France. Narbonne was an important place in Roman times, being at the junction between the Via Domitia and the Via Aquitania. Trade was prominent here and there was a Forum and warehouses for grain and products. The underground storage sites are worth visiting. Much of the city centre can be covered on foot. There is also a free (tiny!) shuttle bus that cuts a route from the Mediatheque along the canal and around other parts of town [read more].
Toulouse is a city in southwestern France, and capital of Haute-Garonne in the Midi-Pyrenees region. It stands just north of the Pyrenees on the River Garonne, half way between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Toulouse is the fourth largest city in France, after Paris, Marseille and Lyon. It’s known for its rugby, its aerospace industry and for violets, which are used to make bonbons and liqueurs here. The city was a Roman settlement, “Tolosa”, and the smaller inner streets still follow the ancient layout. In the Middle Ages, Toulouse ruled an independent county, but it joined the Kingdom of France in 1271. In the fourteenth century, it was devastated by pogroms, the Black Death, famine, and war. Then, in the fifteenth century, it became wealthy from its monopoly on “pastel,” a blue pigment extracted from woad plants, only to slump again when the monopoly was broken by indigo imports from India [read more].
Montpellier is the principal city in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southwest France. It’s been the fastest growing city in France over the past 25 years and, as a result, it has very modern districts on the outskirts that are in stark contrast to the old winding roads of the city centre. The town is home to a lot of students due to the presence of the University of Montpellier which has the oldest medical school in Europe, and, as such, Montpellier has a very young feel to it. One of the principal attractions of Montpellier is the climate. It has a dry Mediterranean summer and a mild winter. The city isn’t on the beach but it is easily accessible via public transport and there are also several beautiful villages that are accessible via bus as a day trip. Montpellier is a compact city and walking across the whole city centre does not take long [read more].