Carcassonne Day Two : Walking Around the Perimeter of Carcassonne Castle


Sunday was the only full day that we had in Carcassonne and so it seemed sensible to spend that time exploring the castle itself. We walked to the outside and it wasn’t overly busy, but there were inevitably a fair few people milling around.


It’s an undeniably large structure and it’s now a UNESCO World Heritage site. There has been a defensive structure here since Roman times, with some of that still visible, but it was during the Middle Ages that it was significantly extended in size and scope.


We started our visit by walking around the exterior of the castle to help get our bearings.


I took plenty of photos of our meanderings, although I’m not sure why I took quite so many. For anyone who has time to waste, the entirety of the photos from this trip are at


There were plenty of steps and slopes. The castle had started to be neglected from the middle of the seventeenth century and, in 1849, the Government of France decided that they’d demolish it. That was seen as entirely sub-optimal by numerous people and efforts were made to repair and restore it, a decision which seems to have been for the long-term benefit of the local area. Following the intervention of the President of France, restoration work began in 1853 and although some of it was not really ideal and not quite appropriate, at least it meant that the building was saved and it has given some elements rather a quirky feel.


There are sweeping views of the local area from all directions.


Stone. There’s a lot of stone.


There’s a horse drawn carriage that goes around the perimeter for those who don’t want to, or can’t, walk it.


Not everything is accessible, but it’s all in a reasonably good state of repair. It took around 20 minutes to walk around the castle, although we spent some time faffing and taking photos. It’s certainly a useful way of getting an understanding of the scale and size of the whole complex and there’s no charge for walking around.