Just like the famous board game, the city of Carcassonne draws plenty of people. Every year three million tourists visit the medieval fortress which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
French Carcassonne is located between Toulouse and the Mediterranean Sea. The city consists of two parts: La Ville Basse and La Cité. The citadel has a famous reputation and is known as the ‘most beautiful example of a medieval city in Europe’. The walls are massive, the towers are high and the winding streets evoke a feeling of going back in time. It is as if any minute a knight on horseback can pass by on his way to a damsel in distress.
But however beautiful, Carcassonne is more than just a citadel. In La Ville Basse (the lower city) the Cathedral of Saint Michael and the Church of Saint Vincent rise above the houses. In the streets, wine, grains and fruit from the area are traded. You will find small clothes shops and cosy eateries with local snacks: hams, candied chicken intestines, pâté with goose or duck liver, braised meat, Grés de la Cité and Michelene liqueur.
Although the fortress was created out of necessity, the pleasant result is that Carcassonne nowadays has an enchanting appeal. The fairytale castle of the Disney parks was even based on it, which is a logical choice.
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