Just a girl rambling around the globe and writing about it.

Musings from around the block and farther.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Carcasonne, the Medieval Walled City

Considered to be Europe's ultimate walled fortress city, Carcassonne is also a tourist mecca because it is a living, breathing playground for history buffs. There's a castle, a moat, a drawbridge, and you can kind of just wander around at will. Kids run through the grounds (once you get past the mall-like corridors of shops and cafes, which I actually thought were fairly reasonable in price) and you can pay a little extra to tour the castle and walk along the upper ramparts, but we decided just to run crazy and take our own little tour.

Known as La Cite, Carcassonne is at least 1200 years old - you read that right, a thousand years older than our dear America! It's so old that even the "New City" (outside the walls of the fortress and down the hill) dates from 13th century. It's so old, it was defeated during The Crusades. I read that people have occupied the area since Neolithic times, and the Romans built the first wall, upon wich the bigger medieval wall was constructed (and then the "new" wall was built in the 1300s). Charlemagne and his troops besieged La Cite for several years as well.

Although we had fun wandering this Shrek-like world, we are an American family that is now craving pizza and TV and air conditioning, so I was not at all surprised when Raf
asked me, "Are we Carca-done?" I said yes, and he nodded gratefully, saying, "I'll be happy when we're Carca-gone." Yes, we were there way too Carca-long. In Barcelona, we saw an old guy's Carca-dong. In France, not ordering a pate starter is Carca-wrong.

And, our favorite ode is Carcassonne is borrowed from a cheesy 80s tune:
Carca-Khan, let me rock you, it's all I wanna do.

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