Carcassonne Off The Beaten Path

  • Abbaye de St Hilaire (France)
    Abbaye de St Hilaire (France)
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  • Off The Beaten Path
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  • Off The Beaten Path
    by GentleSpirit

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Carcassonne

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    Statue of Armand Barbes

    by GentleSpirit Written Oct 17, 2013

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    You will find this statue on Avenue Barbes(1809-1870), basically right outside of the Jacobin Gate to the Bastide. The backdrop is quite impressive, so I had thought this might be a founder of the city or one of its leading lights. It is, to an extent.

    Armand Barbes was the son of a military surgeon in Napoleon's Egyptian campaign. His father, was from Carcassonne and it was there that the family returned to later on. Armand was apparently a man of action, and joined the National Guard, leading a local batallion in the 1830 revolution.

    It seems that Barbes calling in life was that of a revolutionary. His passion was to overthrow the monarchy. He was a member of various revolutionary and human rights oriented organizations, serving in various capacities such as legal advisor. His first arrest for political activity came in 1834, in 1839 he was sent to jail for life for his participation in the ill fated Coup of 1839, which managed to capture and hold several official buildings in Paris for several hours before running out of ammunition. His sentence was shortened and he was released in 1848, but in 1849 he was involved in another uprising and was again sent away to prison. He was released in 1854 by Napoleon III but never again returned to France, knowing that doing so would cause him to once again get involved in revolutionary activity. He died in the Hague,

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    Notre Dame de la Sante

    by GentleSpirit Updated Oct 14, 2013

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    This little chapel, which was built in the early 1300's at the foot of the Pont Vieux used to be part of Carcassonne's first hospital. My understanding is that it was originally built as a chapel for the hospital for pilgrims, which was later a plague hospital.

    Most people will walk right by since it is very small and they are in a hurry to finally get to the Cite.
    Originally it had ornate decoration on its facade, but the revolution changed all that. Renovation was started in 1975 to begin to bring this little jewel back. It is a very small place, but it is always open. Go in and have a look around, its a simple chapel though it retains some of its original Gothic features.

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    A Walk along the River Aude - 7kms (90 mins)

    by Explorette Written May 7, 2012

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    Get out of the city and take a really nice walk along the river Aude. It's good exercise and it's free. 7 kms or 90 mins.
    Start your walk in front of the Hotel des Trois Couronnes on the Bastide side of the Pont Vieux.
    Follow the river bank path which takes gives you views across the river towards La Cite. The path passes in front of some houses and then through a picnic area, continuing for about 3km before reaching a road bridge which allows you to get to the opposite bank of the river. Stop to admire the distant views of La cite from here with the vinyards in the foreground.
    You should now follow the river in reverse on the opposite bank. The path takes you beside some farns where you may see donkeys, ducks, goats and even llamas! When you reach the weir the path heads away from the river and you need to follow some narrow private roads which take youe to a small stream. Keeping the stream on the right follow ths road until it takes you to a park which borders the river. Turn right along the river, through a series of small parks until you arrive back at the Pont Vieux. The return route is about 4 km.

    River Aude, Carcassonne View across the vinyard La Cite from the river Aude The Pont Vieux
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    St. Nazaire inside

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Feb 5, 2012

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    There are seven stained-glass windows in the choir. Only one of them remained of an 18-th century window. You will see beautiful north rose and south rose windows.
    The seige stone is the term which has become to be used to designate this strange bas-relief which in fact appears to be part of a sarcophagus.
    On the right of the Lady Chapel beneath a richly ornamented pointed arch there is a bishop's tomb. The statue is of alebaster and the prelate is represented lying down with his feet on a lion.

    Carcassonne - Sacred Nasar Basil
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    Wax Museum

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Feb 5, 2012

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    The Wax Museum - is a variant of M-m Tusso or M-m Grevin Museums in Paris or in London. If you are tired of crowds at the streets or if it's raining I advise you to visit this museum...
    When I reconstructed this page I tried to find some more information about this museum, but haven't found. May be it is closed now (16 years passed from my visit).

    There are some other interesting Museums:
    School Museum (Medieval City)
    Reconstitution of a classroom of former times (XIX°s)
    Adult : 3€ / Children : 25€/class
    Tel : (+33) 04 68 25 95 14 - museeecole@orange.fr
    Haunted House (Medieval City)
    price : 6€
    Tel : (+33) 06 03 84 13 86 - www.loisirs-carcassonne.com
    Pharaons Museum (Medieval City)
    price : 5€
    Tel : (+33) 06 03 84 13 86 - www.loisirs-carcassonne.com

    Carcassonne - Wax Museum Carcassonne - Wax Museum Carcassonne - Wax Museum
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    Inquisition Museum

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Feb 5, 2012

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    I have chosen the Inquisition Museum (Musée de l'Inquisition) out of a big set of museums in Carcassonne.
    The medieval castle of Carcassonne housed the famous bastille of the inquisition in southern France. Being the center of persecution of the Albigenses and Waldenses, the castle now houses the largest collection of torture implements of Europe in its museum.

    I saw instruments of tortures and plunged into gloomy atmosphere of the Middle Ages.

    It is located on Rue du Grand-Puits, Carcassonne 11000, telephone: (+ 33) 06 03 84 13 86.
    Adult : 6€50 / Student : 5€ / Children : 4€

    Carcassonne - Museum of the inquisition
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    Sacred Nasar Legend

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Feb 5, 2012

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    Once in dream Nasar's mother appeared and advised him to go to Gallia. He reached those places where Carcassonne stands now. He was seized by Romans, and chained in circuits.

    A boy by name Zelsiy saw it, and sympathized with him. Then he was chained in circuits and they both were sent to Rome to Neron.
    The Imperator ordered to throw them in a dungeon, but at this time whence there was a set of wild animals which begun to protect Nasar and Zelsiy, breaking off on pieces the Roman soldiers.

    Then Neron ordered to get rid at any cost from Nasar and Zelsiy and to expel them from Rome. But they left Rome accompanied by wild animals and reached Milan. Subsequently they were carried to Sacred rank.

    Carcassonne - Sacred Nasar Basil
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    Sacred Nasar Basil tour

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Feb 5, 2012

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    The Sacred Nasar Basil is the jewel of the Cité for sure!
    The Cathedral was built in the 11th and 14th century.
    A mass is celebrated there every Sunday at 11am

    Open all year.
    Weekdays: from 9.00am to 11.45pm and 1.45pm to 6pm (closes at 5pm during the winter) -
    Sundays: from 9.00am to 10.45am and 2pm to 5pm (closes at 4:30pm during the winter).

    Entrance is free.

    Carcassonne - Sacred Nasar basil
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    Saissac Castle

    by Roadquill Written Nov 7, 2011

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    About 30 minutes drive North of Carcassonne along a very picturesque road is the Saissac Castle. Part of the Cathar system of castles erected starting in the dark ages, the castle was abandoned over 500 years ago. Now it been partially restored and contains several exhibits explaining money system during the Medieval ages.

    Saissac Castle
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    Wine tasting in nearby Saint Hilaire

    by Roadquill Written Nov 6, 2011

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    About 15-20 minutes South of Carcassonne is Saint Hilaire, a small town surrounded by pretty vineyards. After visiting the Abbey, the town coop tasting room is a two minute walk down the road. The tasting room has the towns "coop" brand as Camas, where they bottle by grape variety, e.g. merlot, malbec, but they have not been in any oak. Some of the vintners have their own vintages at tasting room. I tried several that were Bordeaux blends, and at least 9 months in oak. What a difference.

    Wine tasting in Saint Hilaire Concrete wine vats in Saint Hilaire
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    Saint Hilaire Abbey

    by Roadquill Written Nov 6, 2011

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    A short drive South of Carcassonne is the delightful Saint Hillaire Abbey. The church is adorned with a sarcophagus by the Master of Cabestany. There is a small fee, but there is also several exhibits including the fine ceiling of the Bishop's room. The cloister is the picture of serenity, with its fountain and double arches. The monks invented sparkling wine at the Abbey back in 1531.

    Abbey Saint Hilaire Abbey Saint Hilaire - Ceiling
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    LasTours - Awesome Remnant of the Past

    by Roadquill Updated Nov 6, 2011

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    15 minutes North of Carcassonne are the remnants of Les Quatre Chateaux de Lastours. With over 20 sites noted by Le Pays Cathare, LasTours seemed like one of the most interesting. It was well worth the 30+ minute, 1,000 high (it seemed like) trek from the entrance to the four towers and cite. 4,000 years of history, but the major castle effort began in the XIth century. Just to get up to the castles one has to walk through a small cave tunnel known as the grotto. The Tours known as Cabaret, Tour Regine, Surdespine and Quertinheux, and then there is the old town remnants a hundred yards down the trail.

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    Massif de la Clape - Some amazing vineyards!

    by Jerelis Updated Sep 29, 2011

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    The subregional zone of Massif de la Clape forma an oase of vineyards which lie at the westernmost end of the Coteaux du Languedoc appellation. Most of the vineyards are located around a rocky promontory east of Narbonne, the Massif de la Clape, which was an island until the River Aude silted up in the Middle Ages.

    The entire terroir is a mixture of limestone, red clay and gravel. Strict regulations have helped to ensure quality of the wines of La Clape. Talking to a local expert we learned that thes particular vines must be five years old before qualifying, and the cépage is strictly controlled. Since 1998 the wines must include at least 70% Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre with a minimum 20% Grenache. The rule is 60% for rosé. And I have forgotten the exact rules for the white wines, I'm sorry about that. But anyway ... on a whole it is a rather small region. Some vinyards are located on a low plateau, of clay and galets (large, oval stones). This communal zone is of less significance than La Clape, which plays host to some of the top names of the Languedoc, starting with Chateau de la Negly. There are also good wines from Camplazens, Pech Redon and Moujan.

    Directions:
    Massif de la Clape is situated on the Mediterranean coastline southeast of Narbonne. The whole area belongs to the Languedoc-Rousillion district and is directly on the route from France to Spain (Barcelona).

    Vineyards and Massif de la Clape. Some more vineyards. Massif de la Clape seen from the sea.
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    Massif de la Clape - It used to be an island.

    by Jerelis Written Sep 12, 2011

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    Just opening Wikipedia will tell that (and I quote) "the Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain. It separates the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of continental Europe, and extends for about 491 km (305 mi) from the Bay of Biscay (Cap Higuer) to the Mediterranean Sea (Cap de Creus)." Back to my own English :) ... we can say that for the most part, the main crest forms a massive divider between France and Spain. This devider even ends up into the Mediterranean Sea at Narbonne. This part of the Pyrenees is called Massif de la Clape.

    The Massif de la Clape - "stone" in local dialect - was, until recent geological time, an actual island. This insularity, still apparent in the landscape, has given rise to a particularly rich and original variety of plant and animal life. Today, the La Clappe Heights remain one of those unusual, spellbound places where we could still feel the imprint of his long-gone ancestors. It's a relatively unknown jewel of a crag on a relatively unvisited stretch of French coastline.

    Directions:
    Massif de la Clape is situated on the Mediterranean coastline southeast of Narbonne. The whole area belongs to the Languedoc-Rousillion district and is directly on the route from France to Spain (Barcelona).

    View at the The Massif de la Clape. Beautiful Massif de la Clape. Rough and massive.
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    Massif de la Clape - Oeil Doux.

    by Jerelis Written Sep 12, 2011

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    Talking about a hidden gem. We did not hear of this amazing spot before we visited it. The Oeil Doux is a natural waterhole surrounded by cliffs with an abrupt eastern face overhanging the surface 40 metres below. The cliff is made of hard fissured limestone whose crevices are full of red clay; it was formed during the middle geological era. The north side, less steep, is made of marly limestone from an older geological age and is particularly rich in fossile deposits, notably Orbolitines (Mesorbitolna texana), Brachypodes, Lamellibranches and sea urchins (dating from the Clansayesian period).

    The presence of this hole at this site can be explained by the fragility of the wider area which displays many faults; two of them major. The water in the hole is salty: the salinity, as well as the level, varies with the rainfall and the movements of the Mediterranean just 1,500 metres away. The whole zone is part of a submerged karstic formation. The water table penetrates into the zone, part of a network that appears to plunge far below the 35 metres depth of the waterhole. Connections to the sea via this underground network, together with leaching, explain the variations in surface level and salinity.

    Directions:
    Massif de la Clape is situated on the Mediterranean coastline southeast of Narbonne. The whole area belongs to the Languedoc-Rousillion district and is directly on the route from France to Spain (Barcelona).

    The Oeil Doux. Hiking towards the Oeil Doux. Watching into the deep ...
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Carcassonne Off The Beaten Path

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