Photo op

France has been the most visited country in the world for many years and we had a blog post earlier this year that explains some of the reasons. As you would expect there’s food, wine, culture, beautiful villages, and romance. History is another factor and it’s overflowing here since we live in a city with Europe’s largest preserved Medieval walled city with foundations that the Romans built 2000 years ago. None of that potential is lost on the municipal Office of Tourism that has been classified by the government as “Category 1” for their excellence in serving the public and in cooperating with local professionals in national and international promotion. But there’s not just one government organization interested in getting the word out about Carcassonne; there are four and each one has its own list of where to take the best photos of that Cité on your visit here. Let’s see how they compare.

Inside the walls

The government in France is organized into communes (cities, towns, villages), départements (kind of like a county in the US), and régions (kind of like a US state) plus in our area we have an agglomération that administratively joins together the main city with the smaller villages and hamlets around it. Now to find out where each of those offices says that you will get great shots.

Tourisme Carcassonne

In their article “The Top 11 Most Beautiful Views of the Medieval City” they use words such as “the original”, “the classic”, “the sportive”, and “the deluxe” to describe some of their suggestions. The city completed an excellent update of their tourism website this summer and we’ve illustrated this post with many of their photos found by clicking on the tab “Presse” on their website at the article link above.

Tourisme Grand Carcassonne

To encourage visitors to see what’s around Carcassonne, the agglomération highlights some viewpoints back to the Cité if you have a car. They mention shots from the vineyards (featured photo at the top), perched on the hill of Pech-Mary, and from the toll road rest area Belvédère d’Auriac that becomes a standing-room-only observation spot every year for the July 14th fireworks.

Aude Tourisme

The département of Aude narrows your choices down to just 5: from the old bridge (built in the 1300s) from above and below the fortified walls, and 2 shots from down here in the lower town where most of us live.

Tourisme Occitannie

Our région of Occitannie has you staying inside the Medieval City with a “Stroll Between Castle and Alleys” acknowledging that there is essentially a castle within a castle with cobblestone streets from the Middle Ages running between the walls. There are gates (Porte Narbonnaise photo in first paragraph), towers, ramparts, and ancient stone stairways. Construction on the basilica started around 1100 AD and the surrounding shops and village homes are still occupied, even today.

Building from the 1200s

There’s nothing like playing tourist in your own hometown. No matter where we lived in the US we always tried to take the time to stop at that restaurant, pick up some flowers, or have a look inside that gallery we always passed by on the way to work. Now we do the same except there’s no work to be concerned with and we usually have a camera at the ready.

Photo credits: Normally Bill takes all of the photos that we use on the blog but today we’re highlighting shots from Tourisme Carcassonne where most of the credit goes to Julien Roche, © Ville de Carcassonne, thank you!

7 thoughts on “Photo op

  1. We loved our visit to La Cité last year. We had a beautiful day for it and what a sight it was from afar and from within. We’ll be back one day! I believe there are some lovely restaurants not far away 😉

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    1. We thought that the two of you would especially enjoy today’s post. We’re looking forward to seeing you here again!


  2. Dear Bill and Bob,
    I’ve been following your blog for several months now and want to thank you for your continuing posts…so enjoyable and informative! My wife and I (and our Doodle!) are planning to move to France next October. We have questions we would love to ask (the answers to which I can’t find addressed specifically) and I’m wondering if you ever do remote consultations? We would normally ask if we could take you out for a festive beverage but it is too far from Bellingham to Carcassonne! Thanks for considering, and thanks again for your labor of love on the LL blog!
    Kind Regards, Jeannine

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