Medieval City

Top attractions

You can visit the Medieval City alone or not.

Please check our guided tours page for more information and create incredible souvenirs of your stay.

St Nazaire and St Celse Basilica

The first authentic act mentioning this church dates from 925. In 1096 Pope Urban II came to Carcassonne and blessed the stones of the Cathedral of Saint Nazaire and Saint Celse. The building was completed in the first half of the 12th century. Altered several times, it lost its cathedral status in 1801 in favor of the Saint-Michel church located in the Bastide. In 1898 it received the title of Basilica granted by Pope Leo XIII.

Comtal Castle

Last defense, it was built in the 12th century by the Trencavel, Viscounts of Carcassonne, and was constantly modified during the following centuries. In the 13th century the construction of the enclosure was undertaken to fortify it. This belt is made up of a curtain, round towers, the châtelet of entry, the barbican as well as the ditch.

The Narbonnaise Gate

The Narbonnaise gate, located to the east, was built around 1280 during the reign of Philip III the Bold and was made up of two enormous spur towers. It owes its name to its orientation towards Narbonne. In the XIXth century Viollet-le-Duc reconstructed the aliasing and the slate roof and endowed it with a pseudo drawbridge which did not originally exist.

The Aude Gate

To the west, the Aude gate faces the river of the same name. It is located near the Chateau Comtal. This door is extended by the Aude barbican, partially destroyed in 1816 to build the Saint-Gimer church. Only the ramp surrounded by crenellated walls remains. This door, with its typically medieval appearance, has served as a backdrop for many film shoots such as Les Visitors, Robin des Bois: Prince des voleurs or Le Corniaud.

Theater of the Medieval City - High Place of the Festival

The theater, which is located inside the medieval city, was created in 1908, on the site of the old Saint-Nazaire cloister. It had nearly 6,000 seats (just over 3,000 authorized today) and the public was seated on benches or simple chairs. In 1957, Jean Deschamps, actor and director, created the famous Festival de la Cité, which has taken place every summer since then. The theater was modified in 1972. In tribute to the action of Jean Deschamps, the Grand Théâtre de la Cité took the name of "Jean Deschamps theater" on July 15, 2006.

The Lices

This space, between the two ramparts, of a little more than 1 km in circumference was flattened in the 13th century, when the 2nd wall was erected. In the 18th century, the poorest Carcassonnais built their homes there before they were destroyed during the restoration of the medieval city by Viollet le Duc in the 19th century. Today, the lists allow you to discover the different characters of military architecture and offer beautiful views of the Bastide Saint Louis, the Pyrenees and the Black Mountain. Each summer there are tournaments of chivalry.

The ramparts

The Medieval City has 52 towers spread over a double enclosure measuring 3 km long. The interior wall includes parts of Gallo-Roman ramparts (III-IVth century) characterized by their small apparatus surmounted by cords of bricks. During the 13th century, the kings of France ordered the construction of a second outer enclosure around the City, completed by a dry ditch. The inner rampart was rebuilt for the most part in the last quarter of the 13th century, early 14th.

The big well

Of the 22 wells that supplied the City, it is reputed to be the oldest. Its borders are from the 14th century and its columns and fittings date from the Renaissance period. Legend has it that the Visigoths, frightened by Atilla’s arrival, hid the treasure from the Temple of Solomon there. He was searched many times, always in vain.