Originally, Carcassonne was not on the Canal's route. It is only in 1810 that the port is opened after numerous complaints from the inhabitants noticing the extent to which other towns benefitt fron the Canal.The port is located next to the buzy commercial center of the town and it is advised to take a cab up town...
Pierre-Paul Riquet's first plans had been to locate Carcassonne on the Canal des Deux-Mers. In 1660 the town was widely known for its sheet factories , but the town did not want to contribute to the steep building cost of 100 000 livres, which were linked to the topographical difficuties of the ground. In front of their refusal , Pierre-Paul Riquet had the canal run in the plain and built instead a port in Trèbes which become then a major halt, in the 4 days trip Séte-Toulouse.
Under the inhabitants pressure, the States of Languedoc decided to change the canal's route and have it pass under the fortification walls of the mediaeval city. As soon as the port opened it favours the installation of distilleries establishments, sulphur refineries, press and barrel factories, foundries for manufacturing ploughs, pumps and taps and of course agricultural firms that made Carcassonne a very prosperous city.
In 1913 Guide to Aude list 39 wine merchants, 17 cooperage workshops, 22 brokers et 19 commission-agents, 17 cartwrights et 10 blacksmiths. It shows the full activity that was then in the Carcassonne port.
Founded in the XIIIth century on Roman vestiges Carcassone is divided into a lower part and the walled city. In 1998 Carcassonne was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Later the Wisigoths and then the region noblemen lived in the walled city. During the Cathar crusade the city was besiege and conquer by the kings of France .The walls were doubled and it then became a reserve city . It was slowly falling in ruins when in the end of the XVIIIIth century the famous architect Viollet-le-Duc restaured it.
Between Carcassonne and Trèbes, the Orbeil aqueduc, designed by the military architect Vauban, is a three arches bridge built in 1688 by Colin and Launet. Vauban contributed to the 40 aqueducts construction on the Pierre Paul Riquet's canal. Aqueducts were necessary for the passage of crafts in order to avoid river navigation.
Market days :
Tuesday and saturday mornings
To see and visit in the fortified town of Carcassonne :
The Pont Vieux
The Lapidaire Museum
The Château Comtal
The Saint-Nazaire and Saint-selve cathedrals
To see and visit in the lower town of Carcassonne :
The XIIIth-XVth Saint-Michel cathedral
The Saint Vincent church dating from the XIIIth-XVth centurys
The covered XVIIIth century wheat market
The XVIIIth century Jacobins gate
The XIIIth -XVth Notre Dame de la Santé and the church des Carmes
Museum of Arts
The birds Museum
To see and visit in the out- skirts of Carcassonne :
At Pech Mary, eagles in liberty
The Orbiel aqueduct, a three-arch canal-bridge, located less than 3km from Carcassonne
Fresquel aqueduct opened to navigation in 1810
Epanchoir de Foucaud jardin botanique de 500 espèces de plantes méditerranéenne
The medieval village of Conques sur Orbiel, 10 Km on the road to Caunes Minervois
Villalier at 5 km on the road to Caunes Minervois
In Trassanel 20 km away from the city, the departmental speleology centre
The Limousis Grottoes 20 Km on the way to Trassanel
The Caprespine abyss 38 KM on the Caunes Minervois road
The canoë-kayak departmental centre.
The old city conflagration
The mediaeval Carcassonne
Boating House: 04.68.71.74.12
Where to eat :
Le Saint-Jean, Place st Jean
Le château, place du Château
Le comte Roger, 14 rue Saint Louis
Where to sleep :
La maison Grimaude, Castelnaudary
Hôtel de la Cité- St Nazaire Square
The Octroi, 106 avenue du Général Leclerc
Auriac Domain, route de St Hilaire.
Les écluses à proximité
Écluse de Villesèque (9 km)
Écluse de Lalande (6.1 km)
Écluse d'Herminis (5.8 km)
Écluse de la Douce (4.5 km)
Écluse de Carcassonne (0.5 km)
Écluse de Saint-Jean (2.8 km)
Écluse double de Fresquel (3.3 km)
Écluse simple de Fresquel (3.4 km)
Écluse de l'Évêque (5.6 km)
Écluse de Villedubert (5.3 km)