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  • Writer's pictureMarcelo Di Liscia

The Medieval Marvels of Carcassonne

After a scenic 200-kilometer drive from Cadaqués, we arrived in Carcassonne. Eager to catch a glimpse of the magnificent walled citadel, we paused for a moment to admire its grandeur from a distance before heading to our apartment in the Lower Town, ready to explore the next day.

While staying in the Lower Town of Carcassonne, we discovered that parking can be a challenge. However, we recommend downloading the PayByPhone parking app, which helps locate available parking spaces and simplifies the process. The Lower Town offers its own array of attractions, including a vibrant dining scene.

The "Place Carnot" is a hub for restaurants, where we savored delicious meals and enjoyed the lively ambiance. Here, you can indulge in the iconic southern France dish called "cassoulet," a rich and hearty stew made with white beans, meats, and herbs. Additionally, the square market in the mornings is a must-visit, offering a variety of fresh produce, local delicacies, and handicrafts.

For those in need of laundry facilities, Carcassonne has convenient laundromats available. This ensures that travelers can take care of their laundry needs during their stay and continue exploring the city with ease. We used the “Lavanderie de Bastille” located over the “Rue de Verdun”, which allows washing, drying and paying with a card.

Visiting the Walled City of Carcassonne offers a captivating journey into history and medieval architecture. Upon arrival, we embarked on a tour in a little train that circled around the medieval walled citadel. This provided a fantastic overview of the city's magnificent fortifications and allowed us to soak in the atmosphere of this UNESCO World Heritage site.

The medieval walled citadel of Carcassonne is a remarkable sight to behold. Its origins can be traced back to Roman times, but it reached its pinnacle of grandeur during the Middle Ages. The citadel consists of a double ring of fortified walls, complete with watchtowers, gates, and defensive structures.

Within the citadel, a plethora of restaurants, bars, and shops await visitors. The narrow streets are lined with establishments that exude medieval charm. We found ourselves indulging in traditional French cuisine, and browsing unique boutiques for souvenirs. The lively atmosphere adds to the enchantment of the citadel, making it a wonderful place to spend leisurely hours.

The highlight of the citadel is the majestic castle, which is a masterpiece of medieval military architecture. Exploring the castle transports you back in time, as you wander through its interior rooms and learn about the rich history that unfolded within its walls.

We purchased a ticket to visit the castle and its interior rooms. This allowed us to explore the various chambers, including the chapel, the lord's residence, and the inner courtyard. Walking along the ramparts and through the allures (narrow passageways) offered stunning panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Each tower we encountered had a specific purpose, such as the main tower for defense or the treasury tower for storing valuable goods. It was a truly immersive experience that brought the medieval era to life.

Visiting Carcassonne was an incredible adventure for the kids. Exploring the ancient walls and narrow cobblestone streets of the medieval citadel, they felt like they had stepped back in time. The towering castle and intricate fortifications fascinated them, igniting their imaginations with tales of knights and princesses. After bidding farewell to Carcassonne, we continued our journey and made our way to Menton. Excitement filled the air as we looked forward to discovering the charms of this beautiful coastal town on the French Riviera.

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