Carcassonne Airport
General Information

Carcassonne Walled City

Carcassonne walled cityThe walled city of Carcassonne is known first and foremost as a fortified medieval town; but this rocky outcrop has been occupied by man since the 6th century BC, first as a Gaul settlement, then as a Roman town fitted with ramparts as early as the 3rd and 4th centuries AD.

On the western face of this primitive fortification rests the castle, built in the 12th century by the vicomtes Trencavel.

In the early 13th century, Carcassonne was taken by Simon de Montfort during the Albigensian Crusade, then annexed to the royal estate. Fortification works lasted throughout the 13th century, with the construction of the outer wall and the modernisation of the inner rampart, making this place an impregnable fortress.

However, after the Treaty of the Pyrenees made the Roussillon a French possession, the city lost its strategic role and its defence works were neglected. In the XIXth Century, the residents of Carcassonne and the Historic Monuments Department (Service des Monuments historiques), commissioned Eugène Viollet-le-Duc to restore the ancient fortress to its original appearance.

In 1997 the city of Carcassonne was listed by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) in it’s World Heritage List as one of 28 sites in France. UNESCO says, the “Historic town of Carcassonne is an excellent example of a medieval fortified town whose massive defences were constructed on walls dating from Late Antiquity. It is of exceptional importance by virtue of the restoration work carried out in the second half of the 19th century by Viollet-le-Duc, which had a profound influence on subsequent developments in conservation principals and practice”.

Today, the city of Carcassonne is Europe’s largest fortified citadel and a popular place to visit.

City of Carcassonne

Carcassonne InformationI have noticed over the last few years that the City has changed quite a bit. I always found it to be a bit scruffy, but over the past few years it has smartened itself up and is now a very nice place to visit.

Once you’ve come to terms with the spectacle of a full size medieval walled city and have passed through the huge gates into the city itself, there is much to see. Through it’s maze of narrow cobbled streets lie an abundance of small shops selling a variety of leather goods and artwork. There is of course the usual selection of postcards and trinkets, but somehow it feels as if there is much more on offer here.

Dotted throughout the city, there are also plenty of places to eat and drink. These vary from somewhere to grab a quick burger, to rather more romantic restaurants offering a chance to have a quiet, relaxed meal in a pretty courtyard setting.

Hotels In Carcassonne

hotels in CarcassonneThere are two hotels actually within the city walls. Both these hotels offer an ideal hideaway for a weekend break that’s a little bit different.


Hotel dela Cite CarcassonneHôtel de la Cite

Standing between two historic landmarks, the Roman Chateau Comtal and the Gothic Basilica of Saint-Nazaire, this 5 Star Hôtel is set in its own glorious gardens.

With its stone walls, wood panelling and stained-glass, the hotel offers luxurious hospitality.

For more information and to make a reservation visit:

Hotle le Donjon CarcassonneHotel Le Donjon

With 55 rooms and 7 suites which are very elegant and sophisticated in different styles, ranging from antique decoration with exposed stones to contemporary. The rooms overlook either the towers of the citadel or the shady garden.

For more information and to make a reservation visit:



Carcassonne City Opening Times

Carcassonne InformationThe city is open to visitors at the following times;

Daily: April, May, October from 09:30am to 6:00 pm

June-September from 09 :30am to 7:30pm

November to March from 09 :30am to 5:00pm.

Closed : January 1st, May 1st, November 1st and 11th , December 25th