Carcassonne Day Two : Carcassonne Citadel


The fortress itself in Carcassonne is free of charge to enter, but it costs around £9 or so to enter the citadel. We had a wait of around eight minutes to buy tickets, but I was impressed at the organisation and clarity of the operation. Here’s Liam excitedly waiting to go across the bridge.


Much of what is visible here in terms of the roofing was recreated in the nineteenth century, but it’s still imposing.


There are extensive views over the surrounding area and the entrance ticket allows visitors to walk a near complete circuit around these ramparts.


An old window.


Liam keenly looking at something old.


More of the rampart walk. It wasn’t particularly busy when we visited, although during the summer months it’s recommended to buy an advance ticket to ensure access.


And Liam walking along it.


A worn away step.


I think that this is entirely recreated, but it’s where the defenders would pour things over anyone below trying to gain entry. There was a museum element to visit next on this tour, but that sufficiently interested me to get its own blog post.


Liam, inspired by the imposing buildings. Well, or something like that.


This somewhat concerned me for a brief moment, but I’m pleased to say that it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as this sign suggested that it might be.


Carcassonne is divided into two parts, one is the castle side and the other is the Saint Louis District on the other side of the River Aude. This latter settlement was constructed in the fourteenth century and is laid out in a grid pattern and there were once medieval fortifications around it, although these have been taken down. There were lots of arguments between the two settlements until they were united as a single commune in the nineteenth century. In the above photo the two settlements are visible, separated by the river which is where the bridge is.


The remnants of the Roman fortifications. I was suitably fascinated by this survival and went to have a look at them, more of which later on. The anticipation of it all!


A model of the castle at the end of the tour. It takes around ninety minutes to look around the site and it was all well laid out with sufficient signage to explain what was going on. For anyone who is wondering whether to pay to enter, I’d suggest that it’s worthwhile as it’s the heart of the entire castle.