What’s the pont?
There are two pedestrian bridges (pont in French) that connect the old and new cities in Carcassonne. As in most places in Europe, those two words are relative here as well. The foundations of the old city upon which the castle sits above are from around 100 BC (with evidence of settlements there beginning in 3500 BC) while the new town below was founded in 1258. The old bridge, Pont Vieux, was built in 1359 and provides a great vantage point of the castle and of the Pyrenees mountains. The new footbridge, built in the 1960’s (I’m guessing), gives quick access from the park below the castle where we’ll be living to the heart of the city where we’ll be walking at least 3 days a week to the market.
When we looked at Google maps to see how long it would take to get from our new house to Place Carnot where the market is held, it gave us three options: using either of the foot bridges should take about 18 minutes or we can add 1 minute to the walk by using the new bridge, Pont Neuf, built in 1841, for both vehicles and pedestrians. Considering that the castle gets 3 million visitors a year, most of whom drive over that “new” bridge, I think that we’ll take one of our other, more tranquil choices.