w/American Private Driver-Guide

Carcassonne and the Cathar Country

Toulouse => Carcassonne => Lastours => Albi => Cordes-sur-ciel  …. 8 hours = €750.00Eu

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Carcassonne: The largest still-intact, medieval fortified city in the world. Famous for its role in the Albigensian Crusades, the city was a stronghold of Occitan Cathars. Its construction: a concentric design of two outer walls with 53 towers and barbicans to prevent attack by siege engines quickly transports any visitor back to the Middle Ages; back to the era of crusades and crusaders.

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Lastours copyLastours : 4 small castles built within a very close proximity – a testament to the terrible history of the Cathar people and Occitania – who were ruthlessly exterminated first through the Papal endorsement of the Albigensian crusade – and then the inquisition. The Cathar religion had some very interesting doctrines – especially concerning womens’ rights and vegetarianism.

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AlbiAlbi: The “Red City” – where you can visit the famous Toulouse-Lautrec museum. Albi and Carcassonne were the 2 biggest strongholds of the Cathars. After exterminating the Cathars, the Catholic church built the largest red-brick cathedral in the world here as a show of power over the vanquished Cathar people.

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CordesCordes-sur-ciel: The Count of Toulouse ordered the construction of this modern town – one of the first of the bastides of Southwest France. Bastides were “new towns,” originally conceived to resettle and shelter people who had been displaced by the crusade against the Cathars, to encourage agricultural and related market development. Today it is a lovely hilltop fortified village, home to many artists and cute little tourist shoppes.

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lapopieSt. Cirq-LaPopie & Cahors  (optional – time permitting ): One of “the most beautiful villages of France” – St. Cirq-LaPopie is perched up on the cliffs overlooking the Lot River, and enclosed by fortified gates. The countless beautiful old houses whose facades of stone or wood were built between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries are characterized by their steep-sloped, flat, red tiled roofs.

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cahorsFor more info, please contact                                                                          Christian                                                         Private Driver-Guide for Sightseeing in France