Carcassonne In France
This is a bronze coloured plate shaped metal fridge magnet souvenir of Carcassonne in France. Carcassonne is a fortified French town in Aude , in the former province of Languedoc. It is divided into the fortified Cite de Carcassonne and the more expansive lower city, the ville basse. Carcassone was founded by the Visigoths in the fifth century, though the Romans had fortified the settlement earlier. The fortress, which was thoroughly restored in 1853 by the theorist and architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc, was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997. The fortified city itself consists essentially of a concentric design with two outer walls with towers and barbicans to prevent attack by siege engines. The castle itself possesses its own drawbridge and ditch leading to a central keep. The walls consist of towers built over quite a long period. One section is Roman and is notably different from the medieval walls with the tell-tale red brick layers and the shallow pitch terracotta tile roofs. One of these towers housed the Catholic Inquisition in the 13th Century and is still known as "The Inquisition Tower". Today there is a museum "Musee de la Torture", which shows some of the original torture equipment employed by the Catholic Church.
Fortified City As a Tourist Attraction
In 1853, works began with the west and southwest walling, followed by the towers of the porte Narbonnaise and the principal entrance to the cite. The fortifications were consolidated here and there, but the chief attention was paid to restoring the roofing of the towers and the ramparts, where Viollet-le-Duc ordered the destruction of structures that had encroached against the walls, some of them of considerable age. The newer part (Ville Basse) of the city on the other side of the Aude river (which dates back from the Middle Ages, created after the crusade) manufactures shoes, rubber and textiles. It is also the centre of a major AOC wine-growing region. A major part of its income, however, comes from the tourism connected to the fortifications (Cite) and from boat cruising on the Canal du Midi. Carcassonne is also home to the MKE Performing Arts Academy. Carcassonne receives about three million visitors annually.