As said before it is mostly french spoken in carcassonne, with some hotel staff,etc speaking english but to get the most from your visit I feel you do need some of the lingo. I will definitely be brushing up on my french for my next visit. I am just back from my first visit to carcassonne. I loved it. I loved the little rabbit warren streets in the old cite, the friendly shopkeepers, who almost always said bonjour to us , and trusted us alone in their shops while they chatted outside to their neighbours. I loved the traffic free zone there on a Sunday , the quietness of it. I loved the views from the ramparts to the countryside, over the red rooftops. I loved a quiet walk along country lanes , to turn a corner and find a vinyard, and smell wine in the air. I loved the friendly waiters , taxi drivers and even the driver of the agglo bus who brought us from the airport to the cite, making jokes and trying to fool us at our stop. I loved the fairytale castle in the cite , walking around you really could believe in the princess in the tower. I can't wait to return , as I will for certain. It was such a relaxing place, rural france. But I might be a bit biased as I love travelling to france, seeing the culture, different way of life and their romantic language.
La croisades contre les Albigeois : 1209-1229
Durant vingt longues années, la guerre menée contre les hérétiques va éprouver et laminer profondément le Midi de la France. À la suite de l'assassinat du légat pontifical, Pierre de Castelnau, le 14 janvier 1208, Innocent III lance la croisade contre les Albigeois. En 1209, les seigneurs venus du Nord conduits par Simon de Montfort se lèvent contre le comte de Toulouse, Raimond VI, et ses vassaux dont le puissant vicomte Trencavel afin de libérer le pays de ce qu'ils nomment " l'hérésie cathare". Après la soumission de Raimond VI, les croisés prennent en juillet 1209 la ville de Béziers poussant Raimond Roger Trencavel à se replier dans sa forteresse carcassonnaise. Le vicomte capitule après quatorze jours de siège et doit abandonner, sur décision pontificale, l'ensemble de ses possessions à Simon de Montfort. Devant les revirements du comte de Toulouse et à l'issue de la bataille de Muret en 1213, Simon élargit son autorité au comté de Toulouse. Après sa mort, son fils Amaury, peu armé pour s'imposer sur ces terres hostiles, cède ses droits au roi de France, en 1224. Raimond VII profite de l'occasion pour prendre la cité et la remettre à Raimond Trencavel II. Louis VIII répond en lançant une expédition militaire et la ville se soumet sans combattre en juillet 1226. La vicomté est définitivement annexée à la couronne de France qui instaure à Carcassonne une sénéchaussée. La croisade s'achève le 12 avril 1229 par le traité de Meaux-Paris par lequel Raimond VII convient du mariage de sa fille unique, Jeanne, avec le frère du roi, Alphonse de Poitiers, à qui reviendra ainsi l'ensemble de ses possessions. Lasting twenty long years, the war led against the heretics is going to feel and to laminate the South of France of France deeply. Following the murder of the papal legate, Pierre of Castelnau, January 14, 1208, Innocent III throws the crusade against the Albigeois. In 1209, the Lords come from the North driven by Simon de Montfort rise against the count of Toulouse, Raimond VI, and his vassals of which the powerful viscount Trencavel in order to free the country of that that they name "the Cathar" heresy. After the submissiveness of Raimond VI, the crusaders take in July 1209 the city of Beziers pushing Raimond Roger Trencavel to fold back in his fortress carcassonnaise. The viscount capitulates after fourteen days of seat and must quit, on papal decision, the set of his possessions to Simon de Montfort. Before the turning around of the count of Toulouse and at the end of the battle of Low wall in 1213, Simon widens his authority in the county of Toulouse. After his death, his son Amaury, little armed to impose itself on these hostile earths, yield his rights to the king of France, in 1224. Raimond VII takes advantage of the opportunity to take the city and to put back it in Raimond Trencavel II. Louis VIII answers while throwing a military expedition and the city submits without fighting in July 1226. The vicomte is annexed definitely to the crown of France that institutes in Carcassonne a "senechaussee". The crusade ends April 12, 1229 by the treaty of Meaux-Paris by which Raimond VII invite the marriage of his unique daughter, Jeanne, with the king's brother, Alphonse of Poitiers, to that will come back thus the set of his possessions.
Nice to find rather a lot of public toilets around, mostly the automatic sort. You need 20 cents and 10 cents to get in, and they even have paper! Rather cramped though..............it was an effort to get myself and my case into one, even though i'm fairly small, but needs must!
Carcassonne in the movies
Carcassonne’s well preserved fortress has been the setting for movies set in medieval times. Parts of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves were filmed here as well as parts of other movies and dramas. The citadel provides a perfect location for medieval pictures and the scenery around it is excellent.
They got us with the jazz....
We hadn't planned on being here, so we had no reservation. The place was packed! But they found us a table near the bar and we had a lovely dinner. It was actually kind of cozy in a midieval way. Stone walls and candles...lots of candles! A very romantic spot. Nice choice among menus, good duck, and lamb. Great wine list.