France's Most Famous Walled City
All European cities had walls for well over a thousand years.
If a city was in economic decline, the fortifications decayed,
but were never dismantled. That happened with Carcasonne,
leading to an elaborate restoration of the walls by 1910.
The fortifications are truly spectacular,
but they now protect countless shops
aimed at tourists. Locals appear to live
in the lower town under the walls.
Restoration of Carcasonne's walls may have taken some
liberties in the direction of making everything look more
attractive. Critics call it a medieval Disneyland. Still, most
city walls are fairly dull. Carcasonne is a welcome change.
|Major segments of the walls are lit at night.
Inside the walls I noticed cars, hotels, and even an ATM; all
essential to a modern walled city in southern France.
The front walls present three entirely different formations.
This cluster in the center contains a well-hidden entrance.
If you have a high speed internet connection, watch the
Intrepid Berkeley Explorer's 2004 video of France by
clicking on Napoleon Slept Here
There also is the longer 1990 film, in which Paris follows
Berlin: Berlin and Paris