Carcassonne Southern France Hiking and Biking Carcassonne
Carcassonne is a medieval walled city on a hilltop near the canal du Midi in Southern France.
The 12 Century site of over fifty towers is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Carcassonne hiking and biking is available on the Canal
between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea.
The Canalbelow the castle provides tour barges and tree-lined walkways on both sides for biking and hiking.
Carcassonne Photos by Willy Scholliers
A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Photos by Willy Scholliers
Carcassonne in the Languedoc region of south France between Toulouse and Narbonne is a great visit . The old walled city of Carcassonne, a Gothic and
Medieval city is comprised of two-miles of walls. Perched high on a hill and capped by 56 towers. The fort gives you a view of the Pyrenees Mountains and the border with Spain.
Two towns comprise Carcassonne, one the walled City on a hill and the other a town below that spans the River Aude.
Settlements are designed in a grid-like pattern surrounded by walls.
The first settlement in the area dates to the Gauls of the 9th to the
6th century BC. The region was later inhabited by the Romans around the 1st century BC.
Most of what is visible today is a nineteenth century restoration ( 1853) by Eugene Viollet-le-Duc that some said was heavy-handed.
Most of the walls and towers are original, however, as can be seen by archival paintings done before the restoration.
Without this restoration work the walls would have been destroyed.
Carcassonne, A Brief History
Archaeological evidence points to settlement of the area of Carcassonne in 3,500 BC and evidence of trade and commerce by Celtic people during the 6th century BC. The Romans built fortifications on the hill in 100 BC, some of which is still evident in the base of the later walls.
The Visigoth King Theodoric took control of Carcassonne in 453 as Roman power waned and the Empire receded.
The Visigoths enlarged the city and held the fortified town until the Saracens captured the fort and held it until 759, when the Frankish king Pepin the Younger defeated them.
The fort eventually passed to French and Spanish kings and counts and by the early 1200s was an important bastion for the crusades, becoming a French citadel by 1247.
Political treaties reduced the forts military importance and in the early 1700s the fort was abandoned. But for the efforts of architect Viollet-le-Duc and others, the buildings, under order by the French government for demolition, would have been destroyed. Although the restorers were criticised for their 1850s restoration, the use of non-traditional cone shaped towers, their work is considered crucial to the saving of this splendid example of Gothic and Medieval architecture.
Modern Carcassonne is now a city in southern France located astride the Aude River and the Canal du Midi and currently the capital of the Aude Department. The settlement is divided by the river into the Ville Basse and the medieval walled city called the Cité.
The commerce of Carcassonne is centered in the Ville Basse, the town below the fort known for its clothing factories and as a center for the region's wine, grain, and fruit production, and for its tourist activities.
Building of historic interest in the Ville Basse are the 13th century Cathedral of St. Michael and the Church of St. Vincent.
In the fortified town across the river known as the Cité, of interest are ramparts and towers that date to the Visigoths of the 5th century and building phases that span the 11th and 13th century. Also of historic interest within the Cité, the 12th-century castle and the Romanesque and Gothic Church of St. Nazaire, built in the 11th and 14th century.
Barges make tours of the canal
Carcassonne in the Languedoc region of south France between Toulouse and Narbonne is a great place to visit for hiking, biking, canal barge trips and sightseeing in the historic city.
Hiking in the Mountains south of Carcassonne
Carcassonne Southern France offers Hiking and Biking along the Canal du Midi in Carcassonne
Carcassonne Southern France offers Hiking and Biking below the Medieval city along the Canal du Midi
Carcassonne Southern France also offers hiking south of the Medieval city on ancient pilgrimage trails in the mountains of the Pyrenees along the border with Spain
Carcassonne in Southern France offers Hiking and Biking on the Canal du Midi.
Mountains south of Carcassonne offer hiking on ancient pilgrimage trails in the mountains of the Pyrenees along the border with Spain
Carcassonne in Southern France offers Hiking and Biking on the Canal du Midi
Carcassonne Southern France Hiking and Biking
Carcassonne Southern France sightseeing
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Carcassonne Vacation Hiking, Biking Southern France
|When To Go To Carcassonne, The South of France:
Mid March to Mid November is a good time to visit Carcassonne although October and November
will have more rainy days. Winter months are without snow but could be cold in higher elevations.
Carcassonne is about 400 feet above sea level. Carcassonne biking and hiking is good any season.
March, April (41f-60 f) and May(50f-70f) and the early part of June (60f-80f ) are less crowded and
pleasant times to visit. The end of June, and all of July and August (60f-80f) can be warm in the mid
day and crowded at times as much of Europe takes its summer vacation. Much of France goes on a
six-week July August vacation and many people head south.
Summer months are warm and dry. September to mid November (40f-60f) offers fewer crowds and
good weather. Weather is ideal in May and June and September October, great months to visit.
Showers could come in any month but will be infrequent in the summer, more frequent in October.
Mid March to Mid November will find most seasonal attractions open.
Carcassonne is in the Aude Department of Languedoc-Roussillon of Southern France. Carcassonne can be reached by TGV train from Paris, by high speed road, and by air.
Hiking, Biking, Vacation Rentals, Canal du Midi hiking and boat rides, are located within a short walk or drive from Carcassonne