Cité de Carcassonne

Carcassonne, France
Kirker Holidays

The Cité de Carcassonne is a medieval fortress in the city of Carcassonne, France. It is one of the largest medieval citadels in Europe, with a plethora of exceptionally preserved walls, towers and barbicans. The citadel has a history of over 2,500 years, having been occupied by the Romans, Visigoths and Crusaders. Over the years it has been destroyed and rebuilt, with its most recent restoration in the 19th century by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, who somewhat controversially reconstructed much of the old fortress. In 1997 it became recognised as a UNESCO world-heritage site.

Now, it is often bustling with visitors who can freely explore and admire the brilliantly-preserved medieval structures. Visitors can purchase tickets to walk along the Castle of the Counts and its adjoining ramparts. Additionally, there is the Basilique Saint Nazaire, a minor basilica with spectacular stained-glass windows. There are also many restaurants and cafés to sit outside and soak in the atmosphere of the cité.

When to Visit

As Cité de Carcassonne is a district of Carcassonne, it is open 24/7.

High season is June-August, when La Cité is very busy and can be uncomfortably hot for sightseeing.

To avoid peak season while still enjoying pleasant weather, we recommend visiting between March-June. But for those looking to enjoy the Bastille Day celebrations we recommend planning your visit around 14 July, to experience the world-renowned firework show taking place within the medieval city.


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