Summer 2013. Visit Carcassonne and its legendary Castle. Carcassonne is a fortified town in the South of France, in the former province of Languedoc.
Carcassonne became famous in its role in the Albigensian Crusades, because the town was a monopoly of heretic Occitan Cathars. In August 1209 the crusading army of Simon de Montfort forced its people to surrender and many of them were burnt by heretic. Then, Simon de Montfort was the new viscount and he added new fortifications. From then, the town became a border citadel between France and Aragon in Spain.
**In the Middle Ages, Cathars were an anti-sacerdotal group in opposition to the Church of Rome. They protested against what they perceived to be the moral and political corruption of the Church.
Contemporary opinions still considered this citadel impregnable. For example, during the Hundred Years War, Edward the Black Prince failed to take Carcassonne in 1355, but his troops destroyed the Lower Town.
In 1659, the Treaty of the Pyrenees transferred Roussillon to France and Carcassonne military importance was reduced. Fortifications were abandoned and it became mainly an economic center concentrated on the woollen textile industry of Languedoc.
The fortress was scrupulously restored in 1853 by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc and it was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997.
Definitely, fortifications are spectacular. If you have the chance, visit them!
Have a nice day, Yareah Magazine friends!