The history of Carcassonne is particularly bound to a period of the Middle-Ages, often called "the Crusade of the Albigenses". This name comes from the city of Albi, about 100 km north of Carcassonne.
Carcassonne is more than 2000 years old !
Those five days of our trip has been an odd days for weather, I haven't had a clue what to wear and what happen next half hour - rain or sunshine... a lot of my time looking at google weather forecast, talking about weather and trying to dodge the rain as ..... the sun was shining again...
more pictures here: http://mindtheliverpool.icyboards.net/showthread.php?tid=36
Throughout the centuries the historic site of Carcassonne has played a decisive role in the history of Languedoc, although both - the Romans and the Visigoths ruled over Carcassonne, the city-state flourished in the possession of the powerful Viscount Trencavel who ruled over Bas-Languedoc.
At the end of the crusade against the Albigensians the city, with its improved fortifications, became one of the strongholds symbolising royal power on the frontier between France and Aragon. However, after the Treaty of the Pyrenees made the Roussillon a French possession, the city lost its strategic role and its defence works were neglected. In the 19th Century, the residents of Carcassonne and the Historic Monuments Department (Service des Monuments historiques), commissioned Eugène Viollet-le-Duc to restore the ancient fortress to its original appearance. It was this project which helped save Carcassonne and ensure that the city of today is so outstandingly beautiful.
December 1996, the Canal du Midi is classified as World Patrimony by the UNESCO
- December 1997, the medieval Cité and church St Gimer are classified as World Patrimony by the UNESCO.
Carcassonne welcomes each year more than 3 millions visitors.
the Canal du Midi
We went out to lunch to a cute pizza place across the canal and shared delicious pizzas. Then we went for a walk around the town. We were heading toward the church because I'd read there were beautiful sculptures and famous frescoes.
Lac de la Cavayere = Lake Cavayere near Carcassone
RN113 Mont Legun, Carcassonne, France
We have been coming down to Carcassone already third time and despite reading about lakes and the rivers in Languedoc region never noticed this lake!
Lac Cavayere, known locally as Carcassonne Plage. Its a large lake surrounded by woodland, with pathways, picnic areas, beach & outdoor activities. A gem of a find as no entrance fee only for water activities and also - free parking!
Once we decided to wander off to nearby Trebes for lunch on the Canal du Midi somewhere which we did and on return to our place just saw a sign for Carcassonne Plage and curiosity got the better of us and there it was - a beautiful lake!
On one side good for a swim on the other side some fun ang game park on the lake with boat hire it seemed etc., three beaches and all guarded by a bunch of very vigilent lifeguards. We walked round the whole lake, it was very peaceful, only a few joggers and dog walkers about. It will take about an hour. Would recommend take picnic, above the lake in the trees are picnic benches and there is a lakeside cafe where cold drinks, beer etc., together with hot dogs, sandwiches, etc are all available.
Number 1 bus goes from Place Gambetta (1 euro fare each way) for the 20 minute journey right to the lake and you get the bus back from the same stop you get off at.
Nice and safe place and plenty of shaded areas amongst the trees!