Jean Deschamps Theatre, Carcassonne

Jean Deschamps Theatre, Carcassonne

On the morning of June 3, 1908, Doctor Jean Sempre, assistant to the Mayor of Carcassonne and a member of the Society of Arts and Sciences, firmly suggested in council that what the city required at this point was none other than a huge open air theatre.

The theatre would be built on the site of the ruined cloister of Saint-Nazaire. During the siege of 1209, the cloister was partially destroyed to reinforce the fortifications and walls of the town. Dr Sempre pointed out that the space formerly occupied by the cloister would make a spanking open air theatre.

"We are persuaded that a [great] tragedy done in this arena...would produce a grandiose effect and attract a great number of spectators to Carcassonne....on the other hand, from a practical point of view, it would be a notable source of benefits for the merchants of the city." So the the open-air theatre of the Cite was born.

The theatre is scooped out of a hillside like an ancient amphitheater of classical times. Seating capacity is about 5,000 souls seated on chairs and benches. In 1957 the theatre was renamed in honor of actor Jean Deschamps, a world famous stage and film performer and a member of the Comedie Francais.

Dr Sempre's vision came true. The theatre over the years has hosted many great plays and events. Since the name change The Festival of the Cite is presented here annually in the summer.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Carcassonne. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Jean Deschamps Theatre on Map

Sight Name: Jean Deschamps Theatre
Sight Location: Carcassonne, France (See walking tours in Carcassonne)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Carcassonne, France

Create Your Own Walk in Carcassonne

Create Your Own Walk in Carcassonne

Creating your own self-guided walk in Carcassonne is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Medieval City of Carcassonne Walking Tour

Medieval City of Carcassonne Walking Tour

A pig full of wheat was thrown off the battlements. The lady commanding the fortress was a Muslim. The besieging Christians knew Muslims do not eat pig. What is more, the defenders must have plenty of food if they could feed wheat to a pig and throw it over the walls. The siege had lasted five years. The attackers were starving. They left.

Many stories are told about the fortified medieval...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles
Carcassonne Introduction Walking Tour

Carcassonne Introduction Walking Tour

In the time of the Muslim occupation, the chatelaine, Lady Carcas, held the city against Frankish invaders. Lady Carcas devised a ruse that made the Franks believe the city had more than enough food to survive the siege. They gave up and left. She ordered the bells to ring. A Frankish officer, hearing the bells, said "Carcas sonne" meaning "Carcas is ringing".

Today there a...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles