Carcassonne - France - Unesco World Heritage Site | PRIMA.TV - On-line International TV
Carcassonne is a fortified French town in the Aude department, of which it is the prefecture, in the former province of Languedoc. It is separated into the fortified Cité de Carcassonne and the more expansive lower city, the ville basse. The folk etymo...
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Carcassonne is a fortified French town in the Aude department, of which it is the prefecture, in the former province of Languedoc.
It is separated into the fortified Cité de Carcassonne and the more expansive lower city, the ville basse. The folk etymology -- involving a châtelaine named Carcas, a ruse ending a siege and the joyous ringing of bells ("Carcas sona") - though memorialized in a neo-Gothic sculpture of Mme. Carcas on a column near the Narbonne Gate, is of modern invention. The fortress, which was thoroughly restored in 1853 by the theorist and architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997. The name can be derived as a hyperbole of name Carcas. Similarly in Italian language, there are derived names like Castellino (little castle) - Castello - Castellone (big castle), or Ombrellino (small umbrella) - Ombrello - Ombrellone (large umbrella). A double 's' in the name appears for phonetic reasons, otherwise as a self standing 's' it would be pronounced as 'zFirst signs of settlement in this region have been dated to about 3500 BC, but the hill site of Carsac -- a Celtic place-name that has been retained at other sites in the south -- became an important trading place in the 6th century BC. The Volcae Tectosages fortified the oppidum.
Carcassonne became strategically identified when Romans fortified the hilltop around 100 BC and eventually made it the colonia of Julia Carsaco, later Carcasum (the process of swapping consonant is a metathesis). The main part of the lower courses of the northern ramparts dates from Gallo-Roman times. In 462 the Romans officially ceded Septimania to the Visigothic king Theodoric II who had held Carcassonne since 453; he built more fortifications at Carcassonne, which was a frontier post on the northern marches: traces of them still stand. Theodoric is thought to have begun the predecessor of the basilica that is now dedicated to Saint Nazaire. In 508 the Visigoths successfully foiled attacks by the Frankish king Clovis. Saracens from Barcelona took Carcassonne in 725, but King Pepin the Short (Pépin le Bref) drove them away in 759-60; though he took most of the south of France, he was unable to penetrate the impregnable fortress of Carcassonne. SOURCE : WIKIPEDIA