Cl. Bibliothèque nationale de France  
The city of Carcassonne
and the Saint-Louis bastide.
1462. Pen and gouache.
Cl. Toulouse Musée Paul-Dupuy. Cl. V. Rousset.  
Viewed from above the Midi Canal. Drawing by A. Guesdon.
Lithograph by Curvillier.

XIIIth - XIVth Centuries
Carcassonne at the end of the Middle Ages, drawing,  J-C Golvin 1992.
  fter the surrender of Raymond Trencavel II, Louis IX (the future Saint Louis) gave the inhabitants of the old suburbs that had been destroyed the right to settle on the right bank of the Aude at the foot of the fortified city. The town, founded in 1248, was laid out on a 1,000 m. orthogonal plan and surrounded by walls. The square where fairs and markets were held was its social and economic centre while the churches of Saint-Michel et Saint-Vincent were the spiritual heart of the two parishes. The town prospered - it became one of the biggest centres of the drapery industry in Languedoc - encouraging the mendicant Cordelier, Jacobine, Carmelite and Augustinian Hermit orders to settle outside its walls. The Plague, famine and the Hundred Years War combined to put an end to the town's ambitions. In spite of the resistance put up by the people of Carcasssonne the Prince of Gaul (the Black Prince) had no difficulty in subduing, burning and pillaging it in November 1355. It was quickly rebuilt with particular care being taken to construct, although it covered a smaller area, a rampart with circular towers which was protected by a wide ditch. From then on a bridge (the Old Bridge) spanned the Aude, linking the Lower Town and the Upper Town (la Ville Basse and la Ville Haute).


  This reconstruction is based on the 1462 drawing which has been interpreted and completed in the light of present historical and archaeological knowledge. The city is seen from the north west.
   The Old Bridge.
  Cl. Alain Lonchampt © CNMHS, Paris.