Full tour of Carcassone’s medieval ramparts to open for the first time

Visitors will be allowed to walk all three kilometres of its historic walls from September

Work to restore the Carcassone’s walls and add safety features has been going on since 2021
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Visitors to the fortified town of Carcassonne (Aude) will be able to make a complete tour of its ramparts for the first time from September.

The ramparts extend a total of three kilometres but have never been fully open to the public because of safety concerns over the old walls.

Repairs have been going on since 2021 and work on the last sections, facing east, was due to end in June. However, the Centre des monuments nationaux, which manages the site, said the opening has been delayed until September.

Read more: How an American carpenter helped repair Notre-Dame de Paris

Fee to walk the ramparts but old town is still free

Classified as a Unesco heritage site, it has been a settlement since the 6th Century BC and was a Roman town, fortified during the later imperial period before becoming a medieval citadel.

Entry to Carcassonne’s ramparts and chateau is €9.50 for adults, €7.50 for those entitled to reduced tickets, and free for under-18s.

Entry to the old town within the ramparts is still free.

During July and August, a ‘medieval camp’, complete with participants in period costume, offers workshops, demonstrations and events allowing visitors to sample crafts from the period, such as training with swords, leatherwork and calligraphy.

Read more: SEE: The medieval 'bastide' villages of south-west France

Walt Disney connection

Carcassonne is thought to have been one of the main inspirations for Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle.

Photo: Disney Sleeping Beauty castle; Credit: Konstantin Yolshin / shutterstock

Interestingly, this is not the only link the movie giant has with France. His ancestry has been traced to two Norman soldiers from Isigny-sur-Mer in Calvados who, after William the Conqueror’s invasion in 1066, stayed in England, where ‘d’Isigny’ changed over time to ‘Disney’.

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