Photographer's Note

View of the north wall, the moat and the bridge entrance to the castle and cathedral at the bottom of the fortified town of Carcassonne.

Around the year 800 BC C., the city, situated on a hill, became an important center of trade.

Carcassonne began to be strategically important from the time when Romans fortified the hilltop around the year 100 a. C. and became the administrative center of the housing colony Iulia, known later as Carcasum and Carcass. Most of the northern walls are of that era.

In the V century, the Visigoths occupied the city and built more fortifications still stand. Successfully repelled the attacks of the Franks. The Muslims took the city in 725 but King Pippin the Short expelled in 759, by giving it to Bellona, ​​the mythical first Count of Carcassonne and dynastic founder of the branches of the county houses of Barcelona and other Occitania, and scion of the Visigoth nobility. The county will inherit your child in the first instance Guisclafredo of Carcassonne, in the year 810 and died without issue. Later in the hands of his brother Oliba I, who ruled also Razes. At his death he was succeeded by his son Acfredo I of Carcassonne.

In 1067, through a marriage, Carcassonne became the property of Raymond Bernard Trencavel, viscount of Albi and Nimes. The following centuries, sometimes Trencavel allied with the Counts of Barcelona, ​​others with Toulouse. For example, in the late twelfth century, the feudal lord viscount of Carcassonne was the king of Aragon, Alfonso II. The county built the castle Trencavel and the Basilica of St. Nazaire.

Carcassonne is famous for his role during the Albigensian Crusade, when the city was a stronghold of the Cathars. In August 1209, the army of the crusaders of Simon de Montfort forced the surrender of the city after a siege of fifteen days. Taken as prisoner Raymond Roger Trencavel and became the new viscount. Expanded the fortifications and Carcassonne became a border citadel between France and the Crown of Aragon. In 1213, the battle of Muret, won by Simon de Montfort against King Pedro II of Aragon, marked the prelude to the domination of the kings of France on Occitania.

In 1240, Ramn Ramn Trencavel Roger II son tried to reconquer its former Trencavel domains, but failed to be expelled together with the citizens who supported him in revolt. The city came to be definitely under the control of the king of France in 1247, when Ramon Trencavel II formally renounced his title of Viscount delivering the familiar label. Louis IX, then forgave the people who supported the revolt and allowed to return to Carcassonne on the condition that it remain on the west bank of the river, and founded the new part of town at the foot of the hill, called the Lower Town or Bastide San Luis. Luis and his successor Philip III built the outer fortifications. At that time, the fort was considered impregnable. During the Hundred Years War, Edward the Black Prince failed to take the fortress high in 1355 although his troops take the city if they got low.

In 1659, the Treaty of the Pyrenees, the border province of Roussillon was acquired by France and Carcassonne's military importance declined. The fortifications were abandoned and the city became an economic center, concentrated mainly in the textile industry.
The fortified part of Carcassonne became so deteriorated that the French government seriously considered demolish the walls. For this purpose, wrote an official decree in 1849 that caused a stir: the historian Jean-Pierre Cros-Mayrevieille and the writer Prosper Mrime promoted a campaign to preserve the fort as a historic monument. That same year, he commissioned the architect Eugne Viollet-le-Duc the renovation project of the upper town.

The fortification consists of a double ring of ramparts and 53 towers. Since 1997 is considered by UNESCO as World Heritage.

On July 14 of each year, day of the French national holiday, a fireworks display accompanied by games mimics light a big fire in the city.


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Additional Photos by angel cornejo (cornejo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 5753 W: 5 N: 12577] (61504)
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