Carcassonne Introduction Walk (Self Guided), Carcassonne

Perched atop a hill in Southern France's region of Languedoc, the town of Carcassonne is noted primarily for its medieval citadel, La Cité, surrounded with numerous watchtowers and double-walled fortifications. Another key local attraction is a 12th-century Château Comtal, situated within the Cité, replete with archaeological findings and inner ramparts. To explore these and other historic sights of Carcassonne, follow this orientation walk!
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Carcassonne Introduction Walk Map

Guide Name: Carcassonne Introduction Walk
Guide Location: France » Carcassonne (See other walking tours in Carcassonne)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 16
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.1 Km or 3.2 Miles
Author: Linda
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Square Gambetta
  • Chapelle Notre Dame de la Santé
  • Jardin Maria et Pierre-Sire
  • Porte Narbonnaise
  • Château Comtal
  • Cité de Carcassonne
  • Basilique Saint-Nazaire
  • Porte de l'Aude
  • Eglise Saint-Gimer
  • St. Michael's Cathedral
  • Musée des Beaux-Arts
  • Chapelle des Dominicains
  • Place Carnot
  • Eglise des Carmes
  • Hotel Terminus
  • Pont Marengo
Square Gambetta

1) Square Gambetta (must see)

Square Gambetta is a large square in Carcassonne on the other side of the river Aude and the famous Cité. With this square begins the old walled city, built by King St. Louis of France: La Bastide de Saint Louis. Walking around the square you can visit Musée des Beaux-Arts, the Central Library as well as different shops and cafes.
Chapelle Notre Dame de la Santé

2) Chapelle Notre Dame de la Santé

According to notarial acts, the little chapel Notre Dame de la Santé was built with money from the legacy of Jean de Saix, in 1527, as a hospital for those suffering from the plague. It was considered a faithful guard in that strategic location, the narrow passage between fortified buildings. On December 18, 1685, it was agreed to expand the chapel beside the south wind on the river Aude.
Jardin Maria et Pierre-Sire

3) Jardin Maria et Pierre-Sire (must see)

The Garden Maria et Pierre Sire is a beautiful, green space in front of the administrative buildings in the neighborhood of Trivalle. It received its name after the city's council decided to honour the memory of the distinguished writer, Pierre Sire, and his wife, Maria, director of the School of Cité.
Porte Narbonnaise

4) Porte Narbonnaise (must see)

La porte Narbonnaise opening on the eastern flank of the Medieval city is a complex structure combining the various elements of the military devices, prestige and comfort. It dates from the building of the second wall, at the end of the thirteenth century. By entering this eastern door, one first crosses the barbican St. Louis, providing advanced protection of the door. Even if one can question its usefulness, porte Narbonnaise is more than imposing, with its two tall towers pierced with loopholes that bar the way.
Château Comtal

5) Château Comtal (must see)

This amazing castle was built in 1150 by Bernard Aton on the remains of a Gallo-Roman building. Originally, it consisted of two main buildings as well as the watch Tower of Pinte, over 30 meters high. Later the French enlarged and surrounded the castle, strengthening it into a fortress within the fortress. The building served successively as a stately home, the home of the King of France, military space and a prison before becoming a lapidary museum, which houses a beautiful collection of statues, sarcophagi and other artifacts found in the region, dating from antiquity and the Middle Ages.
Cité de Carcassonne

6) Cité de Carcassonne

The Cité de Carcassonne is a medieval citadel located on a hill on the right bank of the River Aude, in the south-east part of the city proper.

Founded during the Gallo-Roman period, the citadel derives its reputation from its 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) long double surrounding walls interspersed by 52 towers. The citadel was restored at the end of the 19th century and in 1997 it was added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites. An image of the historic city of Carcassonne appears on the emblem of local rugby league team, AS Carcassonne.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Basilique Saint-Nazaire

7) Basilique Saint-Nazaire (must see)

The Basilica of St. Nazaire and St. Celse (Basilique Saint-Nazaire-et-Saint-Celse de Carcassonne), is a basilica minor in Carcassonne, southern France, listed as a national monument of the country. It was formerly the cathedral of Carcassonne until 1801, when it was replaced by the present Carcassonne Cathedral.

The present church is in origin a Romanesque of the 11th century, consecrated by Pope Urban II in 1096. It was built on the site of a Carolingian cathedral, of which no traces now remain. The crypt too, despite its ancient appearance, dates from the new construction. The church was enlarged between 1269 and 1330 in the Gothic style then predominant in France, largely at the expense of the Bishop of Carcassonne, Pierre de Rochefort. The exterior was largely renewed by Viollet-le-Duc, while the interior has largely remained the Gothic original.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Porte de l'Aude

8) Porte de l'Aude

To the west, Porte de l'Aude is the path that connects the Medieval city of Carcassonne to the lower town, on the other side of the course of the Aude. Situated not far from the Château Comtal, it is established in the slightly steep point of the city's hill, accessible by a ramp winding along the slope. The door has a historical significance and represents the beginning of the great trip along the city.
Eglise Saint-Gimer

9) Eglise Saint-Gimer (must see)

The church Saint-Gimer was built between 1854 and 1859, by architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. Modesty was one of its stated goals; it has a nave and two aisles and a polygonal apse stationed on two vestries, all preceded by a porch. For this church, whose agenda is that of a single parish, Viollet-le-Duc preferred simplicity, while appealing to a repertoire of forms that could be called "Gothic", but not hesitating to create new forms.
St. Michael's Cathedral

10) St. Michael's Cathedral

Carcassonne Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Michel de Carcassonne) is a cathedral and designated national monument in Carcassonne. It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Carcassonne. The building was built in the thirteenth-century as a parish church, dedicated to Saint Michael. Following war damage in the fourteenth century it was subsequently rebuilt as a fortified church. In 1803 St Michael's was elevated to cathedral status, replacing the pre-Revolutionary cathedral dedicated to Saints Nazarius and Celsus. The old cathedral now serves as the Basilica of St. Nazaire and St. Celse.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Musée des Beaux-Arts

11) Musée des Beaux-Arts (must see)

Situated in the former Présidial, overlooking the boulevards with plain trees, the Museum of Fine Arts is a must-see place for those that want to know more about the culture of the city. The collections of the Museum of Fine Arts represent a rich panorama of Western paintings of seventeenth-twentieth centuries. Visitors can also find a collection of ceramics, tapestries and objects of art.
Chapelle des Dominicains

12) Chapelle des Dominicains

Chapelle des Dominicains, situated on Rue de Verdun, was built in the Gothic Languedoc style as were the majority of religious sites in the city, with stained glass windows and beautiful decorative elements. The chapel often hosts different expositions and meetings, thus having an important cultural role.
Place Carnot

13) Place Carnot (must see)

Place Carnot is one of the most important places in the centre of the city; it is popular among locals, tourists and pedestrians. The municipality organizes live performances and shows on the podium, as well as a fruit and vegetable market. No traffic is allowed here, so people can quietly walk and enjoy the fountains, statues and cafes.
Eglise des Carmes

14) Eglise des Carmes (must see)

Eglise des Carmes has an important historic value, proving that certain regions had their own chapel. It consists of a nave 12 m wide and 17 m long, bordered by twelve chapels of the nineteenth century, of which only ten remained. It was built according to the same plan as the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Vincent Church, in Gothic Languedocien style, and it is a rather plain church, but not without decorations, paintings and sculptures.
Hotel Terminus

15) Hotel Terminus

The hotel Terminus is located on the left bank of the Aude, in the heart of the Bastide. It kept the stylish ambiance of the 1900s thanks to its beautiful facade and staircase, considered a valuable element of Fine Arts. Opened in June 1914, the Terminus covers an area of 2,500 m2, having four levels with 125 rooms and apartments at the cutting edge of modernism.
Pont Marengo

16) Pont Marengo

The Pont Marengo (Marengo bridge) crosses the Canal du Midi and links Carcassonne to the local railway station. The lock is very busy and a favourite tourist attraction as the canal boats work their way along the canal. The plaque on the bridge dates the work to 1800 or as it also says year 8, measuring time in the new republic. The bridge is named after the Battle of Marengo at which Napoleon defeated the Austrians in 1800. A little way down from the bridge the railway line crosses the canal and here there is a small plaque and garden commemorating the maquisards who were executed here by the Nazis.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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.
Carcassonne City Landmarks

Carcassonne City Landmarks

Carcassonne is a very beautiful and interesting city, with many sights that highlight its rich history and culture. Each of them has its own meaning and evokes a certain period of time and certain events. Take this self-guided tour in order to feel a part of the history.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Medieval City of Carcassonne Walking Tour

Medieval City of Carcassonne Walking Tour

The Medieval City of Carcassonne is a breathtaking place with a lot of interesting spots to appreciate. It offers some great museums, beautiful, sunny squares, shops and cafes, and especially noteworthy is its old, historic town atmosphere. Take this tour in order to discover its mysteries.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles
Historical Churches

Historical Churches

Carcassonne is remarkable for its impressive churches and cathedrals. The majority of them were built in Gothic Languedoc style and are noteworthy given their stained glass windows, large choirs and interesting architectural elements. Take this tour and discover them all.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Historical Sights of Carcassonne

Historical Sights of Carcassonne

The rich history of Carcassonne has left marks on the appearance of the city. Important vestiges of the fortified walls which had the role to protect the town from invasions are kept until now, as well as valuable buildings and gardens that can all be discovered in this self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles