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The Fortress of Carcassonne
Carcassonne and surrounding
Architecture,  Castles, Fortresses, Towers
Castles, Fortresses, Towers

One of the most famous fortresses in the world is located in the French city of Carcassonne. The fortress is on a hill on the right bank of the River Aude.

The first fortifications appeared there before our era. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the fortress was repeatedly attacked.

There is a legend about how the name of the fortress was born. Charlemagne unsuccessfully tried to break into the city, which was defended by the widow of the Saracen ruler, Lady Carcass. When the food in Carcassonne was almost gone, she decided to feed the last pig with the remaining grain and throw it from the fortress to the enemy.

Her plan worked. Charlemagne thought that there was still enough food in the city and the siege might take years. So he ordered his army to turn around and retreat. Lady Carcass was glad that she had outwitted the enemy and ordered the bells to be rung to announce the good news to all.

When the soldiers of Charlemagne heard the bell ringing, they shouted "Carcas sonne", which meant "Carcas is ringing". This is how the name of the city appeared.

By the way, residents have immortalized the memory of their savior. The bust of the Lady is mounted on the column of the bridge under the Narbonne gate.

Unfortunately, Carcassonne was not independent for long. After some time, the city became part of the Frankish Kingdom.

In the Middle Ages, the first ecclesiastical court was held in Carcassonne in the case of heretics. It was there that the Inquisition appeared.

In the middle of the 13th century, the Tower of the Inquisition was built in Carcassonne by order of the French king Philip III the Bold. The underground prison was used to torture heretics. Now there is a Museum of the Inquisition.

During the Hundred Years' War, Carcassonne did not surrender to the British. The result of the war was an armistice between Spain and France, under which the border between the countries shifted in favor of Spain. Carcassonne ceased to be a strategic outpost. But after a while, the castle was forgotten and abandoned.

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