The old Carcassone is gloriously medieval, but much restored. Walking thorough its streets at night – with thousands of others – gives you the feeling of how ‘protected’ its former inhabitants must have felt; and how lucky, to have such a home in savage times.
Step outside its walls to take the twenty minute walk down the winding road and across the river Aude and you are in a very different place.
From here you can look back and seen how the ancient Cité dominates the skyline.
Turning around, you enter the modern Carcassonne, which is a delightful place, and offers that perfect blend of traditional and nearly-new that France does (and protects) so well.
Most of the streets are narrow and without pavements. Few are vehicle-free, therefore most are edged with cleverly spaced ironwork to protect the pedestrian.
The majority of shops and cafes are traditional, and you can sense how the city protected itself against the fast food era; something that was not always successful in this lovely land.
Large and cafe-filled squares break up the ancient grid of narrow streets. The song of summer is everywhere…
In the early afternoon the temperature soars and the interiors of buildings offer some relief. Ancient churches – visited for less mercenary reasons – offer the same respite, and provide great gifts for the visiting photographer, though I’m saving the best for another post!
Carcassonne does open itself to the modern. Here’s an ingress it allowed in the 1930s! Personally, I wouldn’t have it any different.
Truly a beautiful city. More to follow on the trail of mysterious, historic silver…
Sent from my iPhone.
©Stephen Tanham 2016.