|This was the view of the citadel from our hotel :-)|
Carcassonne is in the south-east of the country, in the Aude region. If you like castles, this really should be on your list of holiday destinations - not just for the spectacular citadel itself, but for all the Cathar castles scattered around the area (of which, more in a later post).
|Statue of Dame Carcas at the main gate|
(Boom-boom-tish. And don't blame me because the French like a bad pun just as much as the English!)
The citadel of Carcassonne itself was built over thousands of years, with contributions from the Romans and various medieval owners. It is VAST. I mean, stupidly big for a castle. There are 53 towers on the 2 miles of walls. Think Harrenhal.
|Outer and second walls|
|Second (inner) walls|
|The inner town|
|Bridge from the inner barbican to the third (inmost) set of walls|
The outer defensive wall surrounds a big dry area, and then there's an inner wall, which surrounds a whole village (including a cathedral), and then in the middle of that village is ... the inner chateau! It takes a couple of days to look around properly.
|Exploring the battlements of the inmost citadel|
The "modern" town of Carcassonne lies across the river at the foot of the hill. It is very very quiet. Not as quiet as Bruges (obviously), but it does have the distinct air that most people have run away from the zombies or died of the plague or something.
Maybe it's just Europe.
|A light snack before dinner|
The few remaining inhabitants eat a lot of duck and drink a lot of beer and go to bed early.
|We helped them out with the beer-drinking. To the utmost of our abilities.|
They have an entertaining line in local artworks:
|!!! This well-endowed gargoyle is on the modern cathedral|
|Can't resist, eh?|
There was (coincidentally) supposed to be a Game of Thrones convention on that weekend in the citadel ... but the organisers went bust and cancelled two days beforehand, leaving the poor bloody nerds high and dry. Local papers reported it thusly:
But I am proud to report that we played the game Carcassonne in Carcassonne - even if it was on a tablet!
|The geek - it burns...|