Carcassonne (Occitan: Carcassona) is a fortified French town, in the Aude département, Occitanie region. It is separated into the fortified Cité de Carcassonne and the more expansive lower city, the ville basse.
Panorama of the Cité de Carcassonne
|Canton||Carcassonne-1, 2 and 3|
|• Mayor (2014–2020)||Gérard Larrat|
|65.08 km2 (25.13 sq mi)|
|• Density||710/km2 (1,800/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Elevation||81–250 m (266–820 ft) |
(avg. 111 m or 364 ft)
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries. 2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.|
Romans fortified the hilltop of Carcassonne around 100 BC and eventually made it the colonia of Julia Carsaco, later Carcasum. The main part of the lower courses of the northern ramparts dates from Gallo-Roman times.
In 462 the Romans officially left and the Visigothic king Theodoric II built more fortifications at Carcassonne, some of them still stand. In 760, Pippin was unable to take Carcassonne, although he was able to most of the south of France.
In 1067 Carcassonne became the property of Raimond Bernard Trencavel, viscount of Albi and Nîmes. Carcassonne became famous in its role in the Albigensian Crusades, when the city was a stronghold of occitan cathars. In August 1209 the crusading army of Simon de Montfort forced its citizens to surrender. He added to the fortifications. Carcassonne became a border citadel between France and Aragon.
Carcassonne is at about 90 km (56 mi) southeast of Toulouse in the space between the Pyrenees and the Massif Central of France. It is at the crossing of two major traffic routes: the route leading from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean and that from the Massif Central to Spain, skirting the Pyrenees. Both routes exist since ancient history.
The commune of Carcassonne is surrounded by the communes:
Evolution of the population in Carcassonne
Carcassonne forms, with other 2 communes, the urban area of Carcassonne with a population of 49,257 inhabitants (2013) and an area of 71.6 km2 (27.6 sq mi). This urban area is the centre of the metropolitan area of Carcassonne, formed by 71 communes with a population of 98,318 inhabitants (2013) and an area of 804.9 km2 (310.8 sq mi).
A campus of the École nationale de l'aviation civile (French civil aviation academy) is in Carcassonne.
- Carcassonne-1, with 15,128 inhabitants (2014).
- Carcassonne-2, with 20,700 inhabitants (2014).
- Carcassonne-3, with 21,479 inhabitants (2014).
Twinned and partner townsEdit
Carcassonne is twinned with:
The fortified cityEdit
The fortified city of Carcassonne and the Pont Vieux crossing the Aude river
The fortifications consist of a double ring of ramparts and 53 towers. In 1849, the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc took over restoration works. At his death in 1879 his pupil Paul Boeswillwald, and later the architect Nodet continued the rehabilitation of Carcassonne. The restoration was strongly criticized during Viollet-le-Duc's lifetime because he made the error of using slates and restoring the roofs as pointed cones, where local practice was traditionally of tile roofing and low slopes, as in this region snow was very seldom. But today Viollet-le-Duc's work at Carcassonne is thought to be a work of genius, even if it is not exactly the same as it was.
- "Le Conseil Municipale". Ville de Carcassonne. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- "Commune de Carcassonne (11069)". Comparateur de territoire (in French). Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- "City of Carcassonne". Map-France.com. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
- "La ville de Carcassonne". Annuaire-Mairie.fr (in French). Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- "Aude (11)" (in French). habitants.fr. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
- "Régions, départements, arrondissements, cantons et communes" (PDF). Populations légales 2014 (in French). Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- "Unité urbaine de Carcassonne (11501)". Comparateur de territoire (in French). Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- "Aire urbaine de Carcassonne (092)". Comparateur de territoire (in French). Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Carcassonne.|
- Official website of the city of Carcassonne
- Office de tourisme de Carcassone
- Online resource for the Aude & Pyrénées-Orientales, including tourist information for Carcassonne
- Cité de Carcassonne, from the French Ministry of Culture
- Photographs of Carcassonne and the Region
- Many photos of Carcassonne
- Tourist attractions in Carcassonne
- Official website of Carcassonne Airport (in French)