THE DEBATE ABOUT THE RESTORATION AND ITS EVENTUAL RESOLUTION
The Justice Tower with slate roof.
choices for the restoration of the city's fortifications were
the subject of strong criticism as early as 1872. This criticism
was echoed in a letter from Jean-Pierre Cros-Mayrevieille to
the Ministre des Beaux-Arts (Fine Arts minister: "the idea
was to stop the monument from falling down, to ensure its preservation
and retain all its primitive characteristics; it has been rebuilt,
made as good as new, it has been demolished in order to rebuild
The debate can be summed up in one theme: the question of the roofs. The conical roofs tiled with slate were regarded as an inappropriate imitation of northern French design. What the critics forgot, however, was that the city that Viollet-le-Duc had proposed was the one the king's engineers had wanted. In fact, this firm choice of uniformity disappointed those - particularly the people of Carcassone - who would have liked to have seen a more faithful restoration of the successive stages of the monument.
The voices of the critics won in the 1960s when, to break up the uniformity, the historic monuments department had some flat tiled and wood shingle roofs installed as well as Roman tile roofs for the Roman towers. Since the end of the 1980s Eugène Viollet-le-Duc's vision again became the reference out of respect for the coherence and consistency of the ideas that prevailed during the enterprise. These qualities were also expressly recognised by Unesco when the city of Carcassonne was named a World Heritage Site.
The Narbonne Gate with the flat tile roof in place since the 1960s