The history of the city of Carcassione is tied to the 19th century restoration by an architect known as Viollet-le-Duc. It is an outstanding example of how conservation works need to be carried out to preserve the architectural marvels of the past. The city’s medieval ramparts and fortifications were restored to their former glory with a surgeon’s precision.

Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne - You must go here

The history of the city of Carcassione is tied to the 19th century restoration by an architect known as Viollet-le-Duc. It is an outstanding example of how conservation works need to be carried out to preserve the architectural marvels of the past. The city’s medieval ramparts and fortifications were restored to their former glory with a surgeon’s precision.

A fortified settlement on the hill where Carcassonne stands today predates the Roman era with the earliest recorded occupation dating back to the 6th century BC. A prehistoric fort has been recorded to have been built at the site overlooking the Aude Valley, along the ancient trading routes that led to Atlantic, Mediterranean, and the Iberian Peninsula.

In 27 BC, the Carcaso Volcarum Tectosagum settlement became the Latin Colonia Iulia Carcaso. In the turbulent years of the 3rd and 4th century, the city warded off the invaders using wall fortifications that span over 3 kilometers. The Fortifications were amazingly similar to those found in Roman settlements. The masons work was characterized with the Roman style of construction

The city came under the rule of Visigoths in the 5th century who were able to repel attacks by Franks. The Arabs would be more successful in the 724, but would be driven out in 759 after a siege led by Pepin the Short. Under the Visigoths, the Bishopric of Carcassonne was created in the 6th century and much later the Romanesque cathedral was built in the year 1096.

In the year 1226, the Count’s castle was built and fortified with enclosures on the western walls. Due to a revolt in 1262, the king would expel the residents from the fortified town but would later allow them to stay outside the town. They would go on and set up a new town there, which was also fortified.

The town is home to a lot of Gothic structures as well as Romanesque fortresses. It is a good place to spend a weekend exploring the ancient architectural marvels. Besides, the man who restored the town to its present version - Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc – is the father of modern conservation techniques and there is a thing or two you can learn from him.

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