Chateau Comtal Museum, Carcassonne
While you can enjoy 80% of the castle without going into the Museum, the Museum provides a great deal of explanation and a walk around the ramparts and towers of the center of the Castle. It also includes an exhibit of Roman era sculptures found in the area.
Château Comtal Museum is really a small museum, but I guess that is also its charm. This museum is dedicated to remembering the importance of the medievel city of Carcassonne for the entire region. In this context also the Via Dometia, which was the major road connecting Spain to Rome.
The Château Comtal museum exhibits relief models of the town of Carcassonne, the Via Dometia and other relics found in the area. A selection of ancient exhibits aimed at explaining the transition of this ancient citadel from the Empire to the Middle Ages and far beyond that. Just wonder around and learn what all the painting, statues and relics are about by reading the plaues that are near the object you're standing close to. We saw a tomb, some beautiful arches and amazing leaded light. So, don't expect too much, but still it has some very cool items from Carcassonne and surrounding areas, as well as a section on the restoration of Carcassonne.
This museum is less interesting for those interested in minor arts, like ceramics, porcelains, bronze statuettes, ivory artefacts, rock crystal jewels. Yes ... there are some pieces present, but not too much. For example its better to have a look at the huge artifact available. In addition to this rather small, but fine collection of minor arts, it is more worth visiting for the ceilings celebrating Marcantonio II Colonna, some beautiful paintings and the Roman Military Equipment.
The Medieval period lasted more than 700 years, from the Dark Ages to the dawn of the Renaissance. It was a time of re-organization and invention, with key advances in society, government and religion. This era has left us with mythical figures like King Arthur and one where the weapons and armor of the time were truly instrumental in its shaping. At Château Comtal Museum we saw some selection from this exciting period. For example we saw the "classical" Roman short sword is called gladius and thought to be of Spanish origin, typical length up to ca. 55 cms.
The Château Comtal Museum is all about this: discover the ramparts and the château of the Counts (Château Comtal) of Carcassonne, lying in the heart of the ancient city. They are Gallo-Roman and medieval masterpieces of military architecture on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Explore one of the largest fortified towns in Europe, and one of the best conserved thanks to restoration work carried out by Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th century.
So every now and then we get a bit surprised by something we didn't count on. When we payed for our tickets to get into the Château Comtal and the ramparts we didn't know that there was this tiny museum inside as well. We just had our walk over the defensive walls and we entered one of the towers and all of a sudden we stoot right in the middle of this nice little museum. Like I said, I never expected this, so it was even a better visit as we thought.
The Chateau Comtal Museum is fairly small, but has some very cool items from Carcassonne and surrounding areas, as well as a section on the restoration of Carcassonne.
Entry for adults is E$6,10 for the Ramparts Tour, the Chateau Comtal Museum, and you are free to walk around the courtyard. I definately found it value for money.