1. Carcassonne: Castle and Ramparts Skip-the-Line Ticket
Carcassonne was settled as early as the 6th century BC and later became an important Roman town. It was fortified in the 4th century and was a strategic site in the Middle Ages. It took on its definitive shape in the 13th century with the king’s decision to construct the distinctive double-walled ramparts and extend the castle. The city was restored by Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th century and is a testimony to 1,000 years of military architecture and 2,500 years of history. Left in ruins after the the Cathar Crusade (1209-1229), the Inquisition and exile of the Trencavel family, Eugène Viollet-le-Duc was commissioned by the French state in 1844 to restore the city of Cathar. Completed in 1911 under the direction of his pupil Paul Boeswillwald, the royal city was returned to its original splendor, finally being inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 1997. In a new, self-guided addition to this tour, guests are invited to see the magnificent views from the medieval western ramparts.