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Cathar Castles, Carcassonne

4.7
#3 of 12 in Historic Sites in Carcassonne
See the World Heritage-listed walled citadel at Cathar Castles and get a glimpse into one of the most dramatic periods of French history. Locals often refer to these castles as "cinq fils de Carcassonne," the five sons of Carcassonne. Built by the French kings to protect the country's southern border against invasions from Spain, the structures stand on spots once occupied by small but heavily fortified villages. Abandoned after France and Spain signed a peace treaty in 1659, the fortresses lost their importance and slowly fell into disrepair. Restored in the 20th century, Carcassonne's castles and their citadel now serve as the region's main tourist attractions. Before you head to Carcassonne, plan trip itinerary details with our user-friendly Carcassonne trip planner , to make sure you see all that Carcassonne has to offer, including Cathar Castles.
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Cathar Castles Reviews
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683 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • September 30, 2017
    I had arranged a personalised guided tour since we were only in Carcassonne for 2 days. It was a 3 hour tour and I suggest that anyone visiting should do this as so much can be missed by just strollin...  more »
  • September 29, 2017
    I recommend to all who visit. Peyrepertus, Quéribus, Puylaurens and Arques. All are worth much
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  • September 24, 2017
    The Cathar castles are very impressive a few kilometers from Carcassonne. Places are loaded history of the Cathars
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Where to stay in Carcassonne

Although the picturesque La Cite is a tempting place to stay, consider the quieter and more affordable La Bastide Saint Louis down the hill. La Bastide provides easy access by foot to the walled La Cite for daily tours and peace and quiet after dark.
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21 days in France BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND April, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 38 days in South of France BY A USER FROM CANADA April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 20 days in Europe BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in South of France BY A USER FROM NORWAY November, culture, popular PREFERENCES: November, culture ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 27 days in South of France BY A USER FROM FRANCE October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in France BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA July, culture, beaches, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 20 days in France BY A USER FROM TURKEY June, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 2 days in Carcassonne BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Carcassonne BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in France BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 29 days in France BY A USER FROM FRANCE October, culture, romantic, popular PREFERENCES: October, culture, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in France BY A USER FROM FRANCE October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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