Carcassonne Walled City – 43.20698° N, 2.36622° E
We planned to spend most of the day exploring the walled city. There are two major walls. The first wall surrounds the perimeter of the entire city and the second wall surrounds another smaller area that would be even more difficult to get past.
We sent Bruce & Barb ahead to see if they could get over the first bridge. They were successful so we followed closely behind.
We had explored the “commercial” area of the city the night before so today we focused our attention on the inner wall fortifications & all of the rooms throughout the castle. We had to go over another bridge to get into the second fortified area. Getting past these fortifications would have been extremely difficult “back in the day!”
This was a self guided tour that included the use of personal audio devices with a narrative explaining the history and purpose of each area on the tour. Our first stop was to view a 3-4 minute long 3D animated video showing the entire city. This was exceptionally well done & gives the viewer an excellent overview. The photos below hardly does it justice.
Scene 1 (above)
Scene 2 (above)
Our tour continued in a circle along the top of the fortifications and through a series of towers & rooms – some dedicated to defending the castle and others used as living areas.
There was a lot of climbing up & down staircases. In several spots I was feeling a bit of vertigo – especially walking along the walls between the towers and down some of the very narrow & steep spiral staircases.
Being up so high did have its rewards with some great views of parts of the city of Carcassonne that were in the valley below & outside of the walled city.
We concluded our tour with a stop in the cathedral to view the architecture & the stained glass windows. We were allowed to take photos inside this building so I was not misbehaving getting the shots below 🙂
The stained glass was beautiful – reputed to be some of the oldest surviving originals in southern France.
Catherine really liked the massive bell!
After the tour we were pretty pooped so we headed back to our hotel for a rest & a late lunch.
Later in the evening & after dinner we took a 5 minute walk from our hotel to a great vantage point to see the walled city lit up after dark. Carcassonne is a fascinating city & well worth the effort to come & see it. Tomorrow (Friday) we leave Carcassonne & head to the village of Homps – about a 45 minute taxi ride.