Today we visited Carcassonne which is home to Europe’s largest fortified city and was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997.
Background info – Carcassonne became strategically identified when Romans fortified the hilltop around 100 BC and eventually made it the colonia of Julia Carsaco, later Carcasum. Carcassonne became famous in its role in the Albigensian Crusades, when the city was a stronghold of occitan cathars. We visited the Inquisition Museum and my stomach turned upon viewing the various instruments of torture used throughout the Catholic Inquisition.
In 1209 Carcassonne became a border citadel between France and the kingdom of Aragon (Spain) but when in 1659, the Treaty of Pyrenees transferred the border province of Roussillon to France, Carcassonne’s fortifications were abandoned
After walking all throughout the village
We visited the beautiful cathedral (St. Nazarius’ Basilica
11th century) which is a designated national monument
Just outside the castle walls was a lovely cemetery.
before returing home to Maraussan