Diagram: The Urban Area
Private Collection  
Fortifications watchman
Albert Robida, In La cité de Carcassonne
Paved slope, by Albert Robida
For the citizens, the gates were important landmarks. Every day, in the daily routine of the citizens, these gates marked the boundary between the exterior and the interior, "when you arrive at the drawbridge, you're there, you're home". The Aude Gate was the second big entrance to the city. Accessible only by foot on a winding path, it is a remarkable example of the art of fortification, but the citizens saw it as, above all; an outdated, inconvenient entrance. "The Préau was the centre of the world". The esplanade and the garden in front of the drawbridge was the site of dances, children's games, games of petanque, the meeting place for the young and the "old folks" who, as they sat on a low wall, seemed to form a symbolic guard.

Private Collection Tour de l'âne (Donkey Ride)

The entrance to the drawbridge is watched over by two protectors; on the outer ramparts by old Dame Carcas, the legendary heroine namesake of the city, while a statue of the Virgin defends the Narbonne Gate which is set into the inner wall.


 The Urban Area
 Boundaries and Territories
 Beyond the Ramparts
 Life around the Gates
 The Walled City
 The City's Castles
  Dame Carcas,
by Albert Robida
  Private Collection