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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 43°12′47″N 2°21′07″E / 43.21306°N 2.352028°E / 43.21306; 2.352028

Commune of Carcassonne Carcassonne-vignes.jpg

Location
Carcassonne is located in France
Carcassonne
Administration
Country France
Region Languedoc-Roussillon
Department Aude
Arrondissement Carcassonne
Intercommunality Carcassonne
Mayor Jean-Claude Perez
(2008–2014)
Statistics
Elevation 81–250 m (266–820 ft)
(avg. 111 m/364 ft)
Land area1 65.08 km2 (25.13 sq mi)
Population2 48,112  (2008)
 - Density 739 /km2 (1,910 /sq mi)
Miscellaneous
INSEE/Postal code 11069/ 11000
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population sans doubles comptes: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Carcassonne (Occitan: Carcassona) is a fortified French town in the Aude département, of which it is the prefecture, in the former province of Languedoc. It is separated into the fortified Cité de Carcassonne and the more expansive lower city, the ville basse. The folk etymology – involving a châtelaine named Carcas, a ruse ending a siege and the joyous ringing of bells ("Carcas sona") - though memorialized in a neo-Gothic sculpture of Mme. Carcas on a column near the Narbonne Gate, is of modern invention. The fortress, which was thoroughly restored in 1853 by the theorist and architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997.[1]

Contents

History

Cathars being expelled from Carcassonne in 1209
Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

Carcasonneouterwall.jpg
State Party  France
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iv
Reference 345
Region** Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1997  (21st Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by UNESCO.

First signs of settlement in this region have been dated to about 3500 BC, but the hill site of Carsac – a Celtic place-name that has been retained at other sites in the south – became an important trading place in the 6th century BC. The Volcae Tectosages fortified the oppidum.

Carcassonne became strategically identified when Romans fortified the hilltop around 100 BC and eventually made it the colonia of Julia Carsaco, later Carcasum (the process of swapping consonant is a metathesis). The main part of the lower courses of the northern ramparts dates from Gallo-Roman times. In 462 the Romans officially ceded Septimania to the Visigothic king Theodoric II who had held Carcassonne since 453; he built more fortifications at Carcassonne, which was a frontier post on the northern marches: traces of them still stand. Theodoric is thought to have begun the predecessor of the basilica that is now dedicated to Saint Nazaire. In 508 the Visigoths successfully foiled attacks by the Frankish king Clovis. Saracens from Barcelona took Carcassonne in 725, but King Pepin the Short (Pépin le Bref) drove them away in 759-60; though he took most of the south of France, he was unable to penetrate the impregnable fortress of Carcassonne.

A medieval fiefdom, the county of Carcassonne, controlled the city and its environs. It was often united with the County of Razès. The origins of Carcassonne as a county probably lie in local representatives of the Visigoths, but the first count known by name is Bello of the time of Charlemagne. Bello founded a dynasty, the Bellonids, which would rule many honores in Septimania and Catalonia for three centuries.

In 1067 Carcassonne became the property of Raimond Bernard Trencavel, viscount of Albi and Nîmes, through his marriage with Ermengard, sister of the last count of Carcassonne. In the following centuries the Trencavel family allied in succession either with the counts of Barcelona or of Toulouse. They built the Château Comtal and the Basilica of Saint-Nazaire. In 1096 Pope Urban II blessed the foundation stones of the new cathedral, a Catholic bastion against the Cathars.

Carcassonne became famous in its role in the Albigensian Crusades, when the city was a stronghold of occitan cathars. In August 1209 the crusading army of Simon de Montfort forced its citizens to surrender. After capturing Raymond-Roger de Trencavel, imprisoning him and allowing him to die, Montfort made himself the new viscount. He added to the fortifications. Carcassonne became a border citadel between France and the kingdom of Aragon (Spain).

In 1240 Trencavel's son tried to reconquer his old domain but in vain. The city submitted to the rule of the kingdom of France in 1247, and King Louis IX founded the new part of the town across the river. He and his successor Philip III built the outer ramparts. Contemporary opinion still considered the fortress impregnable. During the Hundred Years' War, Edward the Black Prince failed to take the city in 1355, although his troops destroyed the Lower Town.

In 1659, the Treaty of the Pyrenees transferred the border province of Roussillon to France, and Carcassonne's military significance was reduced. Fortifications were abandoned, and the city became mainly an economic center that concentrated on the woollen textile industry, for which a 1723 source quoted by Fernand Braudel found it “the manufacturing center of Languedoc”[2]

Main sights

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The fortified city

Carcassonne was struck from the roster of official fortifications under Napoleon and the Restoration, and the fortified cité of Carcassonne fell into such disrepair that the French government decided that it should be demolished. A decree to that effect that was made official in 1849 caused an uproar. The antiquary and mayor of Carcassonne, Jean-Pierre Cros-Mayrevieille, and the writer Prosper Mérimée, the first inspector of ancient monuments, led a campaign to preserve the fortress as a historical monument. Later in the year the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, already at work restoring the Basilica of Saint-Nazaire, was commissioned to renovate the place.

In 1853, works began with the west and southwest walling, followed by the towers of the porte Narbonnaise and the principal entrance to the cité. The fortifications were consolidated here and there, but the chief attention was paid to restoring the roofing of the towers and the ramparts, where Viollet-le-Duc ordered the destruction of structures that had encroached against the walls, some of them of considerable age. Viollet-le-Duc left copious notes and drawings at his death in 1879, when his pupil Paul Boeswillwald, and later the architect Nodet continued the rehabilitation of Carcassonne.

Fortress of Carcassonne

The restoration was strongly criticized during Viollet-le-Duc's lifetime. Fresh from work in the north of France, he made the error of using slates and restoring the roofs as pointed cones, where local practice was traditionally of tile roofing and low slopes, in a snow-free environment. Yet, overall, Viollet-le-Duc's achievement at Carcassonne is agreed to be a work of genius, though not of strictest authenticity.

Fortification consists of a double ring of ramparts and 53 towers.

Other

Another bridge, Pont Marengo, crosses the Canal du Midi and provides access to the railway station. Lac de la Cavayère has been created as a recreational lake and is about five minutes from the city centre.

The fortified city of Carcassonne and the Pont Vieux crossing the Aude river

Economy

Ville Basse from the walled city

The newer part (Ville Basse) of the city on the other side of the Aude river (which dates back from the Middle Ages, created after the crusade) manufactures shoes, rubber and textiles. It is also the center of a major AOC wine-growing region. A major part of its income, however, comes from the tourism connected to the fortifications (Cité) and from boat cruising on the Canal du Midi. Carcassonne receives about three million visitors annually. In the late 1990s Carcassonne airport started taking budget flights to and from European airports and by 2009 had regular flight connections with Bournemouth, Cork, Dublin, Edinburgh, Frankfurt-Hahn, Stansted, Liverpool, East Midlands and Charleroi.

Language

Historically, the language spoken in Carcassonne and throughout Languedoc-Roussillon was not French, but actually the quite different Occitan.

Sport

Carcassonne was the starting point for a stage in the 2004 Tour de France and a stage finish in the 2006 Tour de France.

As in the rest of the south west of France, rugby union is popular in Carcassonne. The city is represented by Union Sportive Carcassonnaise, known locally simply as USC. The club have a proud history, having played in the French Championship Final in 1925, and currently compete in Federale 1, the third tier of French rugby.

Rugby league is also played, by the AS Carcassonne club. They are involved in the Elite One Championship. Puig Aubert is the most notable rugby league player to come from the Carcassonne club.

In popular culture

  • Carcassonne, possibly because of its spectacular stronghold, is sometimes described in literature as a city people dream of seeing, without being able to do so. It gives its title to the short story Carcassonne by Lord Dunsany (in A Dreamer's Tales), and to a poem by Nadaud, sung by Georges Brassens.
  • On 6 March 2000 France issued a stamp commemorating the fortress of Carcassonne.[3]
  • The history of Carcassonne is re-told in the novel Labyrinth by Kate Mosse.
  • A board game and a video game version of it are named after this town.
  • Portions of the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves were shot in and around Carcassonne.
  • A 1993 album by Stephan Eicher was named Carcassonne.

People born in Carcassonne

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne". UNESCO. Accessed August 11, 2008.
  2. ^ Fernand Braudel, The Wheels of Commerce 1982, vol. II of Civilization and Capitalism, Brian Anderson.
  3. ^ Musée de La Poste

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Carcassonne is a city in south-west France.

Medieval Cite of Carcassonne at Night
Medieval Cite of Carcassonne at Night

Understand

.

Get around

There is no left luggage at the train station.

You can leave your luggage at Hotel La Bastide Saint Louis (42 rue Barbes 11000 Carcassonne) for 1/2 day : €3 - Day : €5

Useful if you want visit Carcassonne city before your trip back from Carcassonne airport.

See

Historic fortress (built upon ruins predating Christianity). Carcassonne is an amazingly well preserved medieval fortress that was featured in the movie, Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves. Ville de Carcassonne is a beautiful castle and is the centerpiece of the medieval Carcassonne. It is a lovely place but can get very crowded at the height of the season.

Tours

Much to see in this somewhat neglected region of France. Get into the hills and visit little villages like Minerve. Try using the Michelin maps but forsake the red roads and take to the little white roads. You will be rewarded by seeing lovely little places that tour buses etc never visit.

Carcassonne can also be visited departing from Toulouse.

Do

Medieval jousting displays are held twice a day between the two walls. Whilst this may sound like a typical tourist activity, this is actually a very impressive and entertaining display of horsemanship and combative competition. Entry is €10 for adults as of Summer 2008 - certainly one of best €10 that we we spent on our Summer trip.

Eat

The eating places get crowded and the prices charged can be a bit over the top. My advice is to eat away from the cite, perhaps in the lower town, or better in one of the enchanting villages away from Carcassonne. Cassoulet will fill you full of beans and sausage in addition to the meat in there!!

If you just wanna eat cheap, then the bars around the train station (La gare) should be good enough.

Sleep

Be careful to not get to the town late when your hotels are far away from the city centre, because it is difficult to get a taxi.

The hotels around the train station are convenient but better book it earlier in the high season.

  • Hotel de la Cite [1] is the most historical, luxurious, (and most expensive), hotel in Carcassonne. Operated by Orient Express Hotels.
  • Camping LA CITE by the river, overlooked by the castle, signposted from the town centre; well facilitated (tennis grounds and pool) with a path running into the city, does get fairly crowded in the summer. [2] (in french)
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CARCASSONNE, a city of south-western France, capital of the department of Aude, 57 m. S.E. of Toulouse, on the Southern railway between that city and Narbonne. Pop. (1906) 25,346. Carcassonne is divided by the river Aude into two distinct towns, the Ville Basse and the Cite, which are connected by two bridges, one modern, the other dating from the 13th century. The Cite occupies the summit of an abrupt and isolated hill on the right bank of the river. Its dirty and irregular streets are inhabited by a scanty population of workpeople, and its interest lies mainly in its ancient fortifications (see Fortification And Siegecraft) which, for completeness and strength, are unique in France and probably in Europe. They consist of a double line of ramparts, of which the outer measures more than 1600 yds. in circumference. These are protected at frequent intervals by towers, and can be entered only by two gates, one to the east, the other to the west, both of which are themselves elaborately fortified (see Gate). In the interior, and to the north of the western gate, a citadel adjoins the fortifications. A portion of the inner line is attributed to the Visigoths of the 6th century; the rest, including the castle, seems to belong to the 11th or 12th century, while the outer circuit has been referred mainly to the end of the 13th. The old cathedral of St Nazaire dates from the 11th to the 14th centuries. The nave was begun in 1096 and is Romanesque in style; the transept and choir, which contain magnificent stained glass of the Renaissance period, are of Gothic architecture. Both the fortifications and the church were restored by Viollet-le-Duc between 1850 and 1880. On the left bank of the Aude, between it and the Canal du Midi, lies the new town, clean, well-built and flourishing, with streets intersecting each other at right angles. It is surrounded by boulevards occupying the site of its ramparts, and is well provided with fountains, public squares and gardens planted with fine plane-trees. The most interesting buildings are the cathedral of St Michel, dating from the 13th century but restored in modern times, and St Vincent, a church of the 14th century, remarkable for the width of its nave.

Carcassonne is the seat of a bishop, a prefect and a court of assizes, and has tribunals of first instance and of commerce, a chamber of commerce and a branch of the Bank of France. It also has a lycee for boys, training-colleges, theological seminaries, a library and a museum rich in paintings. The old cloth industry is almost extinct. The town is, however, an important wine-market, and the vineyards of the vicinity are the chief source of its prosperity, which is enhanced by its port on the Canal du Midi. Tanning and leather-dressing, distilling, the manufacture of agricultural implements, furniture and corks, cooperage and the preparation of preserved fruits, are prominent industries.

Carcassonne occupies the site of Carcaso, an ancient city of Gallia Narbonensis, which belonged to the Volcae Tectosages. It was a place of some importance at the time of Caesar's invasion, but makes almost no appearance in Roman history. On the disintegration of the empire, it fell into the hands of the Visigoths, who, in spite of the attacks of the Franks, especially in 585, retained possession till 724, when they were expelled by the Arabs, destined in turn to yield before long to Pippin the Short. From about 81 9 to 1082 Carcassonne formed a separate countship, and from the latter date till 1247 a viscountship. Towards the end of the 11th century the viscounts of Carcassonne assumed the style of viscounts of Beziers, which town and its lords they had dominated since the fall of the Carolingian empire. The viscounty of Carcassonne, together with that of Beziers, was confiscated to the crown in 1247, as a result of the part played by the viscount Raymond Roger against Simon de Montfort in the Albigensian crusade, during which in 1209 the city was taken by the Crusaders (see Albigenses). A revolt of the city against the royal authority was severely punished in 1262 by the expulsion of its principal inhabitants, who were, however, permitted to take up their quarters on the other side of the river. This was the origin of the new town, which was fortified in 1347. During the religious wars, Carcassonne several times changed hands, and it did not recognize Henry IV. till 1596.

See E. E. Viollet-le-Duc, La Cite de Carcassonne (Paris, 1858); L. Fedie, Histoire de Carcassonne (Carcassonne, 1887).


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

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Wikipedia

Proper noun

Singular
Carcassonne

Plural
-

Carcassonne

  1. An old walled city in Languedoc-Roussillon

Gaming

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Carcassonne

Developer(s) Sierra Entertainment
Publisher(s) Sierra Entertainment
Release date Xbox Live Arcade:
June 27, 2007
Genre Board Game
Mode(s) Single player
Online Multiplayer
Age rating(s) ESRB: E
Xbox Live Arcade
Platform(s) Xbox Live Arcade
Media 46 Megabyte Download
Xbox Live Arcade
Input Xbox 360 Controller
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Downloadable Content

Stub
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This article uses material from the "Carcassonne" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

For other uses of the name Carcassonne, see Carcassonne (disambiguation).

[[File:|thumb|300px|The walled city of Carcassonne]] Carcassonne (Carcassona in Occitan) is a fortified French town, in the Aude département in the Languedoc. It is separated into the fortified Cité de Carcassonne and the more expansive lower city, the ville basse.

This bastide, which was thoroughly restored from 1853 by the theorist and architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997. In 1999, the city had a population of 43.950 people.

Contents

Geography

The town lies 90 km (56 miles) south-east of Toulouse in the gap between the Pyrenees and the Massif Central of France. Carcassonne is at the crossing of two major traffic routes: the route leading from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean and that from the Massif Central to Spain, skirting the Pyrenees. Both routes exist since ancient history.

History

[[File:|thumb|150px|Cathars being expelled from Carcassonne in 1209]] Romans fortified the hilltop of Carcassonne around 100 BC and eventually made it the colonia of Julia Carsaco, later Carcasum. The main part of the lower courses of the northern ramparts dates from Gallo-Roman times.

In 462 the Romans officially left and the Visigothic king Theodoric II built more fortifications at Carcassonne, some of them still stand. In 760, Pippin was unable to take Carcassonne, although he was able to most of the south of France.

In 1067 Carcassonne became the property of Raimond Bernard Trencavel, viscount of Albi and Nîmes. Carcassonne became famous in its role in the Albigensian Crusades, when the city was a stronghold of occitan cathars. In August 1209 the crusading army of Simon de Montfort forced its citizens to surrender. He added to the fortifications. Carcassonne became a border citadel between France and Aragon.

The fortified city

[[File:|thumb|500px|left|The fortified city of Carcassonne and the Pont Vieux crossing the Aude river]] The fortifications consist of a double ring of ramparts and 53 towers. 1849 the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc took over restoration works. At his death in 1879 his pupil Paul Boeswillwald, and later the architect Nodet continued the rehabilitation of Carcassonne. The restoration was strongly criticized during Viollet-le-Duc's lifetime because he made the error of using slates and restoring the roofs as pointed cones, where local practice was traditionally of tile roofing and low slopes, as in this region snow was very seldom. But today Viollet-le-Duc's work at Carcassonne is thought to be a work of genius, even if it is not exactly the same as it was.

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