While visiting with us in Carcassonne, Adam and Liz had the chance to tour the medieval city, la Cité de Carcassonne, a couple of times. We refer to it as “the castle in our backyard” since it is right up the street from our apartment.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site and dating back 2,500 years, the medieval city of a Cité de Carcassonne has 52 towers and two concentric walls with a total of three kilometer of ramparts. Within the walls is a 12th century chateau built by the Trencavels, the Vicomtes de Carcassonne and the Basilique Saint-Nazaire-et-Saint-Celse de Carcassonne (the Basilica of St. Nazaire and St. Celse). Jousting is still performed annually in the baileys of the citadel’s walls.
We were also able to take a short barge cruise with Adam and Liz down the section of the Canal du Midi that passes through Carcassonne. The 17th century Canal du Midi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is described by UNESCO as a “360-km network of navigable waterways linking the Mediterranean and the Atlantic through 328 structures (locks, aqueducts, bridges, tunnels, etc.) is one of the most remarkable feats of civil engineering in modern times. Built between 1667 and 1694, it paved the way for the Industrial Revolution.” The canal is used primarily today for recreational boating.
During our explorations there was always time to relax, talk, enjoy a meal, or have a cold beverage. Then on to exploring more of Carcassonne and France.