05 August 2008

Carcassonne: Some Thoughts

THERE'S NOT MUCH one can say about the French city of Carcassonne that a photo can't say better . The fortress of Carcassonne (pictured) is visually spectacular and incredible to see in person. Our visit last Sunday was lots of fun for everyone, but I think Patrick, Julia, and Henry enjoyed it the most -- mainly because they each came away with some state-of-the-art, top quality plastic medieval toys: a princess crown for Julia, a huge battle axe for Patrick, and a sword and helmet for Henry (photos and end of this post).

I'm not tempted to give all the historical details about Carcassonne (OK, yes I am) because it would take too long to include everything. Instead I'll just comment on a few points and let you read about the amazing history on your own. (oh come on, click and read up on a bit of history!). Here are a few thoughts from our day trip:

  • Is Carcassonne incredibly touristy? Yes. Does it matter? No.
  • We went to a medieval knight-fighting demonstration (you know, jousting, horses, sword fights, princes, princesses). It was actually not much different from the kind of show you can see in places like Medieval Times in the U.S. -- the only real difference is that in Carcassonne you watch the show inside the walls of a 12th century fortress and in the States you watch it in a non-descript building in a strip mall.
  • I've got to admit that the Knights in these kinds of shows are often pretty good looking.
  • We attended a organ concert in the Basilique Saint-Nazaire (10th c.) which was amazing. The huge pipe organ dates back to the 1522 and is one of the oldest in the world.
  • If the tourist shops make even 1 Euro profit for every plastic sword, shield, axe, or helmet that they sell, that's a business opportunity I want to get involved in. Every damn kid who left the castle had one.
  • People who have seen the fireworks show here on 14 July say it's breath-taking. I'll bet it is.
  • A couple photos to illustrate some of my points (more to come in the photo section at the top of the page)



Anonymous said...

There is a picture of Cluney and me hanging in the bistro at someplace on the wall of Carcassonne that looks close to where the picture of Henry was taken. The big difference is that we both have our mouths full of something yummy we found in a patisserie inside the city walls. Michel

Penny said...

Ooh, I want to go! A medieval fortress, toys to keep the kids happy AND good looking knights - sounds like my kind of place :)

Dianne is for Paris said...

Someone needs to get the little guy with blonde hair into the Knight show!

CP said...

Ah, I believe we have the identical Viking helmet buried in the back of a closet somewhere! Yay for plastic medieval crap...

Roland said...

Kerri's dad is realy looking the part of a viking.