Carcassonne, the castle through the Millennium
Carcassonne is located in the south of France, on the road to Lourdes. It takes about 1-hour drive from Toulouse and a 3-hour drive from Barcelona to reach this unique city. Its castle is an important historical and cultural relics of Europe, known as the best preserved ancient castle in Europe.
The spectacular château de Carcassonne was built on the west side of this fortress city. The castle was built by the vicomtes Trencavel family in the 12th century. During the crusade against the Albi Christians, the city was controlled by Simon de Montfort and later incorporated into the king’s jurisdiction. During the 13th century, it has been renewed and enlarged: a circle of wall was built up; after the wall has also been updated, which made the defense system turned into a completely undefeated fortress. This magnificent castle now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
As a strategic fortress, Carcassonne has been occupied by Romans, Visigoths, Arabs and the Crusaders. Each culture has contributed to make the city the great place we know today.
In the city of Carcassonne, there is a famous dish called “Cassoulet”. It is said that this dish was invented in the Roman period. At that time because of the war, food was very limited, but in order to allow men to have enough strength to protect their homes, housewives collected all the things possible to prepared for eating such as beans, ducks, sausages and pig skin. They put these foods in a big pot for a long time to boil, which lasted 3 to 7 hours, and finally the original raw materials became a delicious meal.
Today’s “Cassoulet” is very famous and delicious: beans are full of sauce, duck legs still keep fresh; all the ingredients must be prepared in the night before the day in order to ensure that guests can taste in time.
After discovering every niche, passageway and parapet you can navigate the streets of the hilltop settlement or venture into the less touristy Lower City for lunch or a shopping trip. Within minutes of Carcassonne you can also get to vineyards, wine caves, ruined castles and the soothing green banks of the Canal du Midi.
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