Medieval City of Carcassonne

Medieval City of Carcassonne. Medieval trips and travels. French medieval cities. Carcassone pictures.

Carcassonne, the walled city is known to the fortified medieval town was occupied in the 6th century and was made the Gaul settlement. It is basically a fortified French town in the Aude department. The Cite de Carcassonne was the lower city. Ville Basse Carcassonne was the area that was fortified by the romans. It was founded in the 5th century by the Visigoths. In 1853, Eugene Viollet-Le-Duc was the person who restored it.


Carcassonne-medieval city

Since the pre Roman period, a fortified settlement was made on the hill where now the city stands. A pro-historic hill fort was built here overlooking the Aude valley and other ancient routes linking up the Mediterranean and the Iberian Peninsula with other parts of Europe. Carcassonne got recognition when the Romans made a fortress on the hilltop and made it the Colonia of Julia Carsaco and then Carcasum. The Romans handed over Septimania to Visigothic King Theodoric II in 462. He was the person who had held Carcassonne since 453. Further fortifications were constructed at Carcassonne under his supervision. Traces of their fortifications can be still found there. He was the ancestor of the Basilica which now belongs to Saint Nazaire. Clovis Saracens, the Frankish King took over Carcassonne in 725. He managed to take over most of the southern region of France. However, he was not able to take over the fortress of the city.

Carcassonne city walls

Carcassonne city walls

The Medieval city of Carcassonne was controlled by the medieval fiefdom. The local reps of the Visigoths were the ones who originated Carcassonne as a county. The first Count of the city is Bellow who was the founder of the Bellonids dynasty.

Raimond Bernard Trencavel was the next person to inherit Carcassonne in 1067 when he got married to the sister of the last Count. A lot of work was done by the Trencavel family after the succession of the Carcassonne.  At the time when Carcassonne came under the Occitan Cathars, the city became a lot more famous. In 1209, the army of Simon De Montfort forced the citizens to surrender the city. Many of the Cathars were expelled out of the city during that area. Raymond Roger De Trencavel was imprisoned in a dungeon where he was left to die and then Montfort became the viscount. He gave orders for the constructions of more fortresses. Carcassonne was then made the border fortress between Aragon and France.

Carcassonne cathedral

Basilica of St. Nazaire

When Roussillon was transferred to France, the influence of the military in the city was reduced. Woolen textile industry flourished there and the city became the economic hub.


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