Fun things to do in Carcassonne

  • view to Cité Médiévale
    view to Cité Médiévale
    by iaint
  • view to Place Carnot
    view to Place Carnot
    by iaint
  • towards railway station
    towards railway station
    by iaint

Most Viewed Things to Do in Carcassonne

  • iaint's Profile Photo

    Eglise St Vincent

    by iaint Written Apr 20, 2014

    We just came across this church as we were walking around waiting for the next train back to Toulouse, and went in to pass the time. Good call!
    The churchtower is open to the public - free - and from the top you get amazing views. Hard work getting there of course, and unsuitable for anyone with limited mobility.
    The volunteer who signed us in told us you can see the Pyrenees on a clear day. We weren’t that lucky.

    view to Cit�� M��di��vale view to Place Carnot towards railway station
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo

    St Gimer Church

    by GentleSpirit Written Nov 4, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    While Viollet le Duc is most often credited with restoration of great buildings in France, it is less often that he won notice for new construction. St Gimer, Church in Carcassonne is one of only three new church constructions that he did.

    St Gimer's was built between 1854 and 1859. IT is named after St Gimer, the bishop of Carcassone from 902-931 AD. The original church was built in the 11th century. The first sight you will catch of it is probably when you are on your tour of the castle, which gives you a lovely view. From a distance it looks splendidly Gothic, but Viollet le Duc used Gothic styles from northern France and mixed them with the most outwardly austere style of southern France.

    A number of other things contributed. St Gimer is located in a working class neighborhood across the river from the bastide. At the time of construction the economy was not great in Carcassonne, so funds were very limited. Viollet le Duc intentionally turned away from the showy elaborateness of Gothic cathedrals though gothic elements are plain. In so doing he did a lot to make the church fit in well with its surroundings.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Religious Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo

    Cathedral of Carcassonne

    by GentleSpirit Written Oct 7, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Cathedral of Carcassonne (Cathédrale Saint-Michel de Carcassonne) was originally built on orders of Louis IX in 1247. It was subsequently destroyed during the invasion by the Black Prince (1355). It subsequently replaced the much older Basilica of St Nazaire and St Celse as the Cathedral of Carcassonne in 1803.

    It is perhaps easiest to notice because of its extravagant Gothic-ness, which is the result of a restoration by Viollet le Duc following the 1849 fire.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo

    The Jacobin Gate

    by GentleSpirit Written Oct 5, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    at the South end of the bastide St Louis is the Jacobin gate, the only one of the four original gates built into the city fortifications that has survived. Originally built around 1365, it was fully rebuilt in 1779.

    The second photo was taken just to show how massive this gate is compared to the size of a person

    Jacobin gate
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo

    Ride a carriage around the city walls

    by Beausoleil Updated Aug 8, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you enter at Porte Narbonnaise, there are all sorts of things there to distract you from serious sightseeing. There is a little train tour of La Cité, a carousel for the younger set and various vendors of souvenirs, the most intriguing to me are the calèches or carriages, each pulled by two magnificent horses wearing lace bonnets and little boots. The bonnets protect the horses from flies and midges and the sun. The little boots give them better traction and protect their feet. They are huge and gentle beasts and they only work a half day and live in luxury the rest of the time.

    In the half day of work, they earn their hay. They pull wagonloads of tourists around between the ancient castle walls. You have marvelous views from certain points and there are other places in the walls of historic significance. It's a great way to rest your feet if you've walked all over the Cité and are ready to rest for 20 minutes.

    Porte Narbonnaise, Carcassonne Where you get the Cal��ches Those cute little hats and don't forget the shoes . . . Horse, carriage and cell phone
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Roadquill's Profile Photo

    Lower Town Fortifications

    by Roadquill Written Oct 1, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Often we get swept up in the massive Castle of Carcassonne, surrounding the Cite, however, for centuries there was constant friction between the Cite and the Lower Town, resulting massive fortifications all over.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Upper Lists

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Feb 5, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you go out of Narbonne Gate and turn right before the drawbridge you will find youself in the Upper Lists - the space between the Inner and Outer Walls.
    A walk through the Lists is an indispensable part of a visit to the Inner Wall. Indeed it is only when you walk about at the foot of the towers you will realise the way in which each period took advantage of what its predecessors had done while at the same time using new defensive methods.

    Upper Lists Carcassonne
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Inner Town

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Feb 5, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The first-time visitor to the Citadel is often surprised to discover that iside it is a living town. You expect to find a castle and fortfications. However having passed the Narbonne Gate you will find yourself in an intricate network of streets full of souvenir shops. antique dealers, bakeries, pastry shops, food shops, restaurants and hotels.
    The city teems with tourists who densely captivated its narrow trading streets with an infinite set of souvenirs.

    Carcassonne - Old Town
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Festivals

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Town's Walls and Towers

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Feb 5, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The castle itself possesses its own drawbridge and ditch leading to a central keep. The walls consist of towers built over quite a long period. One section is Roman and is notably different from the medieval walls with the tell-tale red brick layers and the shallow pitch terracotta tile roofs.
    One of these towers housed the Catholic Inquisition in the 13th Century and is still known as "The Inquisition Tower". Today there is a museum "Musée de la Torture", which shows some of the original torture equipment employed by the Catholic Church (have a look at my OBP tip about this Museum).

    Carcassonne
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Grande Caponniere

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Feb 5, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Grande Caponniere or covered passage was a battlemented stairway of which a part still survives. This fortified passage went as far as great tower of the Barbican built by St. Louis on the site of an even older fortification.
    The Barbican was demolished in 1816 and Violet-le-Duc built St. Gimer there on part of the site in about 1850.
    The caponier connected the Citadel with the Barbican.
    You can see on the photo the west side of the castle which is built on top of the Gall-Roman ramparts.

    Carcassonne - Grande Caponniere
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Lady Carkass statue and legend

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Feb 5, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The folk etymology of the name – involving a châtelaine named Carcas, a ruse ending a siege and the joyous ringing of bells ("Carcas sona").
    The statue of Lady Carcas - legendary heroine - stands in front of the drawbridge.
    Here it is a legend about Lady Carkass.
    She was the wife of Saracen king Balaak who owned a fortress by that time. Charles the Great laid siege to the city which proceeded five years.

    Almost all population and garrison died out for famine. But lady Carkass together with innumerous survived defenders continued to shoot from a bow into francs besieged the city.
    Charles, was absolutely despaired to take a fortress, but hoped, that famine will force Saracens to open a gate.

    However artful lady Carkass undertook a following trick. All this time she fed a pig by all the vegetation which remained in the town. And it grown in a hog .
    And at the turning point when Charles thought to continue siege or not, she arranged at a view at besieged a plentiful dinner for herself and the soldiers from the fried hog.

    Thus she threw huge pieces of meat downwards Charles's hungry soldiers, showing, that defenders had still a lot of provisions. Charles despaired and raised the siege.

    So lady Carkass deceived trustful Charles.
    However the legend has the continuation. It appears, lady Carkass did not want Charles left the city. Having taken pleasure in the victory, and having seen a leaving army, she opened a gate and ordered to blow the invitation to enter the city.
    Depressed Charles did not hear an appeal. Then his security guard came and told "Sire, Carcass te sonne", that was "Sir, Carcass calls you".

    That is why the city received the name of Carcassonne.

    Carcassonne - Gate
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Narbonne Gate

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Feb 5, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Narbonne Gate is the principal point of entry to the Citadel and is also called because it faces east towards the town of Narbonne. It consists of twin towers flanking the gateway and joined by a building constructed above the latter.

    The gates having been the most vulnerable points of fortified medieval towns it is no surprise to find that even by the standards of the time this one is exceptionally strong.
    The towers are about 25 metres high and the thickness taper from about 4 metres at the base to about 3 metres higher up.

    Carcassonne - Towers
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Fortified medieval town

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Feb 5, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Carcassonne is a fortified French town in the Aude department in the former province of Languedoc.
    It is divided into the fortified Cité de Carcassonne and the more expansive lower city, the ville basse.
    The fortress, which was thoroughly restored in 1853 by the theorist and architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997.

    The castle is on the hill which towers above the modern city. It is well visible from apart, it draws tourists, inviting to plunge into gray hairs of centuries.

    You can watch my 6 min 40 sec Video Carcassonne out of my Youtube channel.

    Carcassonne - view from the lower city
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Roadquill's Profile Photo

    Memorial to those that Died for Their Country

    by Roadquill Written Dec 13, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Located in Lower Town the memorial honors those that died defending France. Morts Pour La Patrie...A number of memorial plaques from the 50 years after World War 1, to those that died in Tunisia and Italy in World War 2, the Liberation from the Nazi camps and the Algerian War from 1954 to 1962. The sculpture incorporates representations of soldiers from different periods.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Jerelis's Profile Photo

    Square - Rue de Petit Puits and Rue de Plo.

    by Jerelis Written Dec 9, 2011

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Located at the heart of the Toulouse-Montpellier-Barcelone triangle Carcassonne blooms in the plains of the lower valley. It trully invites you to walk in and out of its narrow and winding streets. Just discover its history, its local cuisine, its wines, or simply enjoy the scenery. From the Bastide Saint-Louis to the medieval Walled City, Carcassonne offers a wealth of monuments to visit and discover !

    One of the main squares (at the section of Rue de Petit Puits and Rue de Plo) on which some beautiful and historical buildings are situated, is the natural centre of the city of Carcassonne: a stage for various minor and major events, a reference point, a meeting place and the starting point or destination for walkers who want to discover the city. Historically speaking, the square began to operate in a shape and size similar to what we see today in the early years of the 11th century. It's a joy to be here and enjoy the vibe of the busy ancient city.

    The square. View at the defensive wall structure. Having a refreshment.
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

Carcassonne Hotels

Latest Carcassonne Hotel Reviews

Hotel Montmorency
219 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 8, 2014
Best Western le Donjon les Remparts
479 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 5, 2014
Hotel de L'Octroi
63 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 19, 2014
Hotel Astoria
82 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 7, 2014
Hotel Du Pont Vieux
2 Reviews & Opinions
Au Domisiladore
31 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 4, 2014
Hotel des Trois Couronnes
141 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 4, 2014
Mercure Carcassonne Porte de la Cite
277 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 7, 2014
La Barbacane Citea
130 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 24, 2014
Au Royal Hotel
37 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Sep 23, 2013
Ibis Hotel Carcassonne Centre
135 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 1, 2014
Hotel Central
32 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 24, 2014
De La Cite
423 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 6, 2014
Inter- Hotel Espace Cite
87 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 8, 2014
Hotel Montsegur
11 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 8, 2014

Instant Answers: Carcassonne

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

65 travelers online now

Comments

Carcassonne Things to Do

Travel tips and advice posted by real travelers and Carcassonne locals.
Map of Carcassonne