Carcassonne Cite History

Château Comtal

One of my favourite locations in the South of France – the fortified city of Carcassonne. Today the South of France blog publishes an excellent commentary on the history with some stunning photographs.

Carcassonne is a fortified city in the South of France. It was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997.

The Sarrasin occupation provided inspiration for one of the best-known legends of the Middle Ages…

The emperor Charlemagne laid siege to Carcassonne, then ruled by the Sarrasin king Ballak, who was succeeded after his death by his wife, “Dame Carcas”. The town had already been under siege for 5 years when famine overcame the last of its defenders. So alone Dame Carcas kept watch from the ramparts. To give the illusion that the city remained well guarded, she made straw figures and dressed them as soldiers and fired arrows at the besieging army.

All that remained in the town was a little pig and one sack of wheat. Dame Carcas fed the pig with all the wheat and then threw it from the ramparts! At the sight of such a well fed fat animal, the amazed assailants concluded that the inhabitants had plenty of food and probably weren’t going to surrender any time soon. Charlemagne called off the siege in despair. But before the huge army had quite disappeared Dame Carcas rang the bells of the city to celebrate victory.

Full article and Photos of Carcassonne: Carcassonne City

Video Exploration of Carcassonne:

More about Carcassonne Tourism

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