I was staying nearby so i had to take this road to get home anyway. There is a lovely little park and a nice trail to walk You are far enough away from the cite that you can get a good shot, but its not entirely unobstructed. On this side of the river (bastide side) you are likely to meet just locals walking this path, peoeple out for an evening stroll or walking their dogs.
Usually, when, visiting fortresses, even huge ones, the tour is done rather quickly; in Carcassone, to get around you need to walk 1500 metres, not counting the stairs up and down, the turns, the visits to towers, etc. . . It takes time, but how amazing this is! The open views on the lists between the outer and inner wall (picture 1), walking on the outer wall (picture 2), walking under the arches of the inner wall (picture 3) , coming back to the outer wall and enjoying to be the sole defender of the Cité (picture 4).
Many guide books have maps of the cite, and at the tourist office, you can find maps, too, and walking with a map makes the tour more enjoyable, learning the names of the towers, the gates, reading some explanations. . . . but with the map in hands, don’t forget to look everywhere, the maps are overviews and don’t show the perspectives you discover everywhere (picture 5).
Some of the Ramparts can accessed through the main gate, and some via the Castle and other areas with guides only.
You will find some wonderful views across the Catalan countryside from the top of these walls, which date back as far back as the 13 century.
To get to the top of the wall, there are many steps to climb so may not be suitable for everyone.
When you walk along the walls of the City, you will find the story of Carcassonne during the middle ages, all written and painted on the walls. I was amazed at how bright these murals still was
.........not just because it's good for your health, but also because the streets of this little hamlet, between the Bastide and the Cite, contain some really interesting evidence of Medieval architecture (as well as cafes etc). The 'pharmacie' near to Pont Vieux also has a fascinating (and rather gruesome) display of ancient surgical/dental instruments!
And a little bit higher in the street, along the fortification of the City, you will see the story of Carcassonne in the middle age...written and painted in the colorful letters of the name of Carcassonne ;-)
To us the Cite made Carcassonne special, and the 52 towers and 2 concentric walls form the awesome 2 miles of battlements made the Cite so much different than the other medieval castles, the 1st (external) wall was built during the reign of Louis IX when the town was part of the royal estates, the 2nd (Gallo-Roman/external) wall dates from the reign of Philip the Fair (13th century).
The Castle, the towers, the city walls and the lists between the two walls all belong to the French State, the remainder of the city is administered by the municipality of Carcassonne.
It is amazing that this medieval city is still inhabited to this day. Take the time go walk the walls, and be prepared to take a trip back in time.
Its only by walking around the town you will really discover just how high the walls are, you can imagine yourself being there in the olden days and only having the bricks to protect you!
The Bastide in a part of the town situated in the lower part of Carcassonne. It dates back from the 13th century at the time of St Louis.
This street starts at the old bridge (Pont Vieux) and continues along the City... It's an old street with old houses, that have that strange melancolic charm with their sad colors...
You are about to enter
....endless souvenir stands, créperies, cafés, wine tasting shops and crowds.. but still an interesting place to visit.
That will give you great photo opportunity, good exercice and an appreciation on how big the cite is really...