Saved from extinction

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

  • This is the medieval citadel of Carcassonne. It sits beside the River Aude and looks over the Vineyard filled Languedob-Roussillon region of southern France. Spectacular as it most certainly is, the citadel, with its near 2500 years of history, was almost lost entirely when the culture rich French government decided to demolish the city fortifications in 1849. Back then the old structures were in such a state of decay that the entire site was used as a stone quarry.

    With three kilometers (1.9 miles) of surrounding walls interspersed by 52 towers, the citadel was saved from extinction when it became the focus of one of the largest European restoration projects ever. From 1853 it took some fifty years to complete the extensive restoration and rebuilding. In 1997 it was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.

    Stand here using Google street view.