Colors of summer

Art Deco former city hall of Carcassonne

We are just into summer and the colors couldn’t be brighter in Carcassonne. Last year for this sunny season the city introduced a rainbow of umbrellas suspended over the pedestrian shopping street and those have returned. Not only does it provide a colorful splash but also some welcome shade from that beautiful and sometimes intense southern France sunshine. Joining these parapluies this year are sails, equally vivid, and hanging above the main driving thoroughfare in the lower city. The good news for those of us without a car is that many of the streets have become pedestrian-only for a portion of each day during this outdoor season so we can admire the artwork overhead without having to dodge vehicles.

Driving street rue de Verdun

But it’s not just the sky above that’s been made a bit flashier. For the last 3 years the city has shared the cost with property owners of refurbishing the fronts of many of the buildings downtown. The vibrant paints might seem out of place for a historic town center but their origin can be traced to medieval times when natural materials were used to brighten otherwise drab masonry walls. My favorite real estate expression here for a fixer-upper is “needs refreshing” and in a city that got its start in the 1200s there’s been plenty of time for egg tempera, chalks, and insect dyes to fade and need some freshening.

At first I was reluctant to include so many of these photos that Bill took but then I saw that the city’s Facebook page has 40 shots and the exclamations we hear from visitors about how magnifique they are, convinced me otherwise. It just brings a smile to our faces and I hope that it does for you as well!

Place Carnot
An iron balcony on the pedestrian street
An Art Deco elementary school





Gate through the city walls
Blue bistro on Place Carnot
More of rue de Verdun










Rose garden on Square Gambetta in front of the Fine Arts museum

5 thoughts on “Colors of summer

    1. Yes, thanks, windows and doors open in the morning then everything, including les volets, shut in the afternoon to keep us cool inside.


  1. We’ll be waiting to see them on Wendy Paints on FB! In the meantime, make your dream a plan and you too can be here!


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