On Saturday, September 23 after departing Carcassonnne, we stopped and visited in Narbonne, which is east of Carcassonne. We visited the magnificent CATHEDRALE ST. JUST. The accompanying photo depicts just one of the many beautiful frescoes inside the Cathedral.
On Saturday, September 23, Hans. Wim and I visited the Beautiful Cathedral in Narbonne, the CATHEDRALE ST. JUST. Laying of the first stone - 1272. The two towers, 194 feet tall and dating from 1480, provide wonderful views of the surrounding countryside.
Thursday, September 2, Hans, Wim and I have made our way through Le Puy-en-Velay ( on the N102), along the route "Gorges du Tarn", Millau (along the N88), and made a rest stop in Malene for a coffee break.
In this accompanying photo, Wim and I relax on the patio of a Deli in Malene.
Our next destination --- Carcassonne.
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.
This is the oldest well in La Cite (there are 22 altogether), but it would be very easy to miss (I almost did). It may well date from the Roman occupation of the site and, according to legend, the Visigoths hid their treasure from Solomon's temple in it. Strangely, the water has often been said to be unfit for human consumption!
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.
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.
In the Basilica de St-Nazaire et St-Celse, tucked away fairly high on a wall, you'll find the 'Siege Stone'. It dates from the 13th century, and is an unusual and rare documentation in stone of an historical event. It's next to the tombstone of Simon De Montfort, who was gifted La Cite in the early 1200's after the successful siege (part of the Crusade against the Cathars).
Tucked away in the Basilica de St Nazaire et St Celse, in La Cite, is this rather lovely Pieta. It dates (I think) from the 1500's, but is not noteworthy enough for me to find any written information on it in my papers. I think it is beautiful.
It's easy to miss the Roman parts of La Cite if you don't know what to look for. The inner walls of La cite date from these times and, from Les Lices (the lists) you can see the evidence in some places. Look for regular rubble stone levels intersected with layers of thin red brick (classic Roman building style). The towers based on Roman building are horseshoe-shaped.
There are lots of very obvious old buildings in Carcassonne, but there are also many more hidden examples. Keep your eyes open as you wander. I love the way ancient buildings are incorporated into newer ones over the centuries, like this house in Trivalle. The other photo shows the wooden framework of a house exposed by renovations.
I liked this house................it's clearly Medieval in origin, and less changed than many nearby. Easy to miss though, especially when the streets is crowded in high season.
Rue de Trivalle, on the left as you walk towards La Cite.
This really isn't an off the beaten track tip since the Carcassonne cemetery is located right next to the main entrance of La Cité, (Porte Narbonnaise) but since I never see anybody in the this cemetery, I decided to put it here!
If you have never been to a French cemetery or a cemetery with above ground tombs, you may find this interesting. The tombs are elaborately decorated with photographs of the deceased, artificial and real flowers and plants, ceramic floral wreaths and bouquets, and religous items. Personally, I enjoy strolling through looking for the oldest graves, calculating the ages of people when they died, and wondereing about their lives.
If you are at Pont Neuf or Pont Vieux, don't miss the little park along the river Aude, I've seen many bikers taking a senic ride along the river bank, and wish I can find a place to rent a bike too, we tried but the only place around the Cite, hotel Vieux only rent bikes in summer, we're told later on our way back to Brussels, that rental bikes are available around the train station.
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.