Let’s talk about castles and medieval cities now, shall we?
Carcassonne is located in the southern part of France in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. It is made up of two towns, the Bastide St-Louis (the Lower City) and the fortified medieval Cité, where we stayed, which is the really cool part surrounded by a double line of ramparts. The walls are huge! They’re so tall! I’m glad I wasn’t a soldier back in the day trying to take Carcassonne. It seems like that would have been a very intimidating task.
You might recognize Carcassonne from the 1991 movie Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, starring Kevin Costner, as they filmed parts of it here.
Inside the Cité, there are a lot of gift shops and restaurants, but there’s also a part Gothic/part Romanesque church, the Basilique St-Nazaire, that has beautiful stained glass windows, and a castle.
Walking around on the cobblestoned streets made me feel like I was stepping back in time. I’m really glad that we got to stay within the city walls at the Best Western Le Donjon et Les Ramparts. I loved the view from our window of all the roof tops below.
At night, they light up the outer walls of Carcassonne, which was a pretty amazing sight! It reminded me of a fairy tale, or a Disney movie, but it’s real!
If you’re heading to France, I highly recommend you put Carcassonne on your itinerary! You won’t be disappointed.