Coordinates: 43°13′N 2°21′E / 43.21°N 2.35°E / 43.21; 2.35
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Panorama of the Cité de Carcassonne
Panorama of the Cité de Carcassonne
Coat of arms of Carcassonne
Location of Carcassonne
Carcassonne is located in France
Carcassonne is located in Occitanie
Coordinates: 43°13′N 2°21′E / 43.21°N 2.35°E / 43.21; 2.35
CantonCarcassonne-1, 2 and 3
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Gérard Larrat[1]
65.08 km2 (25.13 sq mi)
 • Density710/km2 (1,800/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
11069 /11000
Elevation81–250 m (266–820 ft)
(avg. 111 m or 364 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Carcassonne (Occitan: Carcassona) is a fortified French town, in the Aude département, Occitanie region. It is separated into the fortified Cité de Carcassonne and the more expansive lower city, the ville basse.

This bastide, which was thoroughly restored from 1853 by the theorist and architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997.

History[change | change source]

Cathars being expelled from Carcassonne in 1209

Romans fortified the hilltop of Carcassonne around 100 BC and eventually made it the colonia of Julia Carsaco, later Carcasum. The main part of the lower courses of the northern ramparts dates from Gallo-Roman times.

In 462 the Romans officially left and the Visigothic king Theodoric II built more fortifications at Carcassonne, some of them still stand. In 760, Pippin was unable to take Carcassonne, although he was able to most of the south of France.

In 1067 Carcassonne became the property of Raimond Bernard Trencavel, viscount of Albi and Nîmes. Carcassonne became famous in its role in the Albigensian Crusades, when the city was a stronghold of occitan cathars. In August 1209 the crusading army of Simon de Montfort forced its citizens to surrender. He added to the fortifications. Carcassonne became a border citadel between France and Aragon.

Geography[change | change source]

Carcassonne is at about 90 km (56 mi) southeast of Toulouse in the space between the Pyrenees and the Massif Central of France. It is at the crossing of two major traffic routes: the route leading from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean and that from the Massif Central to Spain, skirting the Pyrenees. Both routes exist since ancient history.

The commune is in the valley of the Aude river. Another river that flows through the city is the Fresquel river. The Canal du Midi also flows through the commune.

The commune of Carcassonne has an area of 65.1 km2 (25.1 sq mi),[2] and its average altitude is 111 m (364 ft); at the city hall, the altitude is 110 m (360 ft).[3]

Carcassonne and its neighboring communes
Map of the commune of Carcassonne

The commune of Carcassonne is surrounded by the communes:

Climate[change | change source]

The climate of Carcassonne, in the Köppen climate classification, is Cfb - oceanic climate with warm summers.[4]

Population[change | change source]

The inhabitants of Carcassonne are known, in French, as Carcassonnais (women: Carcassonnaises ).[5]

With a population of 45,941,[6] Carcassonne has a population density of 706 inhabitants/km2.

Evolution of the population in Carcassonne

Carcassonne forms, with other 2 communes, the urban area of Carcassonne with a population of 49,257 inhabitants (2013) and an area of 71.6 km2 (27.6 sq mi).[7] This urban area is the centre of the metropolitan area of Carcassonne, formed by 71 communes with a population of 98,318 inhabitants (2013) and an area of 804.9 km2 (310.8 sq mi).[8]

Education[change | change source]

A campus of the École nationale de l'aviation civile (French civil aviation academy) is in Carcassonne.

Administration[change | change source]

Carcassonne is the prefecture of the Aude department, the capital of the arrondissement of Carcassonne and the administrative centre (French: chef-lieu) of three cantons:

It is part of the intercommunality Carcassonne Agglo (French: Communauté d'agglomération Carcassonne Agglo).

Twinned and partner towns[change | change source]

Carcassonne is twinned with:

The fortified city[change | change source]

The fortifications consist of a double ring of ramparts and 53 towers. In 1849, the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc took over restoration works. At his death in 1879 his pupil Paul Boeswillwald, and later the architect Nodet continued the rehabilitation of Carcassonne. The restoration was strongly criticized during Viollet-le-Duc's lifetime because he made the error of using slates and restoring the roofs as pointed cones, where local practice was traditionally of tile roofing and low slopes, as in this region snow was very seldom. But today Viollet-le-Duc's work at Carcassonne is thought to be a work of genius, even if it is not exactly the same as it was.

Transports[change | change source]

Gallery[change | change source]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Le Conseil Municipale". Ville de Carcassonne. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  2. "Commune de Carcassonne (11069)". Comparateur de territoire (in French). Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  3. "City of Carcassonne". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  4. "La ville de Carcassonne". (in French). Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  5. "Aude (11)" (in French). Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  6. "Régions, départements, arrondissements, cantons et communes" (PDF). Populations légales 2014 (in French). Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  7. "Unité urbaine de Carcassonne (11501)". Comparateur de territoire (in French). Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  8. "Aire urbaine de Carcassonne (092)". Comparateur de territoire (in French). Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 22 March 2017.

Other websites[change | change source]