Saturday, 13 November 2010

The History of Carcassonne and the Cathars

I was having a little bit of a tour around YouTube looking for anything of interest for the area and decided to focus on La Cite at Carcassonne, which after all is the jewel in the crown for Languedoc Roussillon and the region near to us. I stumbled on this video which describes the history of Carcassonne and its role in the Cathar history of the region, which I think is really quite well done; so decided to share it with you all.

Chateau Saissac
We shouldn't forget that Carcassonne isn't the only feature of the immediate region, magnificent as it is. There is also St Papoul literally five minutes away and Saissac Castle which is also only about 15 to 20 minutes away.

During the spring, summer and autumn you can get into Saissac for a modest fee and watch a film all about the 'Treasure of Saissac' which was discovered by workmen in 1979 having been buried there some 700 years earlier. The film is shown in French, English and Spanish one following the other, so you have to get your timing right to see your version or just hang about a bit, it's not too long and is worth the wait. There a nice little exhibition in the main hall where they show the films and the views from the castle across the plains of Carcassonne are pretty spectacular, especially on a clear day when the Pyrenees in all their glory are on full display.

This link is to a recommendation for a Day Out In Carcassonne following a route through Issel (which itself once had a medieval castle), to St Papoul, Saissac and Montolieu (the village of books) after which you arrive in Carcassonne and can spend the rest of the day and early evening wandering through the streets of La Cite or perhaps taking a look at the Ville Basse of Carcassonne. The potential for a very rewarding day out with lots of places of interest and some amazing views.

There are of course many other sites and places of interest to see in the region, which in time I will touch upon, but this is a little bit about the Cathar trail which is, for me anyway, particularly interesting. Hope you enjoy it to.

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