In this episode...
I headed for an afternoon in Carcassonne, France. It was my plan to spend daylight hours exploring the castle and the inner walls. But, as soon as the light changed, I would be spending my time outside the walls attempting to capture this magnificent spectacle.
Carcassonne has always been a point of interest to me as it is one of my favourite board games. We would spend hours playing it back at university. On this day I got to fulfill a dream of mine to set foot within the walls. Come and check it out with me.
Occupied since the Neolithic, Carcassonne is located in the Aude plain between two great axes of circulation linking the Atlantic to the Mediterranean sea and the Massif Central to the Pyrénées. Its strategic importance was quickly recognized by the Romans who occupied its hilltop until the demise of the Western Roman Empire and was later taken over in the fifth century by the Visigoths who founded the city. Also thriving as a trading post due to its location, it saw many rulers who successively built up its fortifications, until its military significance was greatly reduced by the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659.
The city is famous for the Cité de Carcassonne, a medieval fortress restored by the theorist and architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in 1853 and added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997. Consequently, Carcassonne greatly profits from tourism but also counts manufacture and wine-making as some of its other key economic sectors.
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