Private Collection  
Caretaker of the fortifications,
Private Collection
Visitors in the lists, postcard
At the end of the restoration the economic situation of the neighbourhood had improved and there was less poverty. Where it had once been seen as a sign of backwardness, the inhabitants' poverty and their dilapidated homes were now seen by visitors as a guarantee that the authenticity of the site had been preserved. This change of attitude was neither continuous nor unanimous. The attitude to the inhabitants was still ambivalent, they were sometimes looked down on, sometimes appreciated for their picturesqueness.

"To get from the fortified wall to the cathedral one has to cross what might be called a squalid, damp, slimy village where fifteen or sixteen hundred more or less living beings live and procreate. They are weavers by trade and subsist in this agglomeration of hovels like cold blooded creatures swarming at the bottom of a well. A network of steep, dirty, twisting roads serve as public thoroughfares, their only light coming from the diffused rays of an invisible sun. [...] This pile of dilapidated, stinking masonry set into this magnificent belt, resembles a piece of filth that has been accidentally shut inside a gold casket studded with jewels." (Léon Malo, Revue du Lyonnais, 1886)

"Old villages have been reconstructed at great cost; one only has to visit this city of Carcassonne, with its lop-sided houses, their low doors sheltered by canopies, the barely modernised workshops [...]. Scarcely used to visitors; the people look at you curiously, you see in their eyes a sort of joy and pride, the days of domination by the nobility are far away, they feel as if they are the masters of this phenomenal castle which people come from all over the world to visit. [...] it is a poem, a legend, that seems to hover on the lips of the old women soaked by the sun's rays, bringing a spark of joy to their threshold. They seem to be retelling some old troubadour's tale." (Louis Viator, L'Aude à Paris, N° 40, 1913)


 The Poor Weavers
 The "Parasite" Houses
 In the Visitors' Eyes
  Old woman in front of door
  Private Collection