Carcassonne – Country Roads of France
This was the medieval town I was most looking forward to and it was impressive. The perfectly restored medieval walled town lies on the right bank of the River Aude and is featured on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. It has 52 towers and two rings of town walls making a total of 3 km of battlements. Due to its strategic position, Carcassonne became a key element in medieval military conflicts.
You enter through a massive main gate and pass through the gigantic outer walls into the town area, with its narrow streets – no cars here – and hidden squares. To get into the main castle and keep costs 5 euros. The entrance to it from the town side has an effective defence system with two portcullises, a massive door and a machicolation (murder hole) through which projectiles could be dropped upon attackers. We particularly enjoyed walking along the hoarding which is a wooden gallery installed on top of the ramparts as an additional defence during sieges. Openings in the floor allowed arrows to be fired and stones to be dropped from above.
As you can imagine, Carcassonne is an ideal location for filming and movies such as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was made here. It would be interesting to see the movie again to see which scenes were shot around here. There is a lot to see here and we highly recommend that you hire the audio system when you enter the main castle which explains what each section is.