The stunning, medieval walled citadel of Carcassonne belongs to the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France. Set high on a hill, surrounded by mountains, orchards, olive groves and vineyards, Carcassonne competes with Mont St Michel for the title of ‘the most visited monument in France’. And it’s easy to see why - the city is an idyllic treasure. The citadel boasts many towers, portcullis and drawbridges, 3 kilometres of walls and over 50 towers, surrounded by a moat. Inside sits an astounding castle, a beautiful church, narrow cobbled lanes, striking gardens and an exquisite medieval town.

Carcassonne has endured a rich and turbulent past. The city was involved in a 20 year military campaign by Pope Innocent III to eliminate a Christian sect. Carcassonne also became a border fortress between France and the Crown of Aragon (Spain). As France grew, its border moved ever-outward, and in 1659 Carcassonne found itself well inside the borders. From there its importance as a stong-hold changed. The city survived almost ruin as it was restored in the 1960’s to the site we can enjoy today. The medieval core of the city was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997.

Below the citadel, and across the canal, stands the ‘new town’ of Carcassonne, built in the 13th Century, and founded by Louis IX. Known as the ‘Bastide Saint Louis’, this charming, atmospheric part of town hosts independent boutiques and incredible bars, cafes and restaurants with tables spilling onto the square – perfect for trying some of the regions local wines – in Carcassonne you are, after all, in the centre of the world’s largest wine region. Also try the local crepes in all their various delicious guises and the local cassoulet - a casserole with haricot beans, sausage and duck or pheasant.

The Canal du Midi passes through Carcassone at the top of the ‘lower town’ and was created in the 17th century to connect the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean. It creates a wonderful space to relax, walk, cycle or enjoy a water cruise or a barge trip.

Carcassonne houses a number of museums including the Musée de l’Inquisition (a rather gruesome account of Carcassonne’s history) and Musée de l’École, plus a fine art museum providing forms of French art from the 1600s to the 1900s.

Why does Carcassone make a great place to enjoy a team working event?
As it is a city of ‘two halves’, it is easily accessible. The citadel holds a tragic history, but also a story of triumph; ideal for many of our tactical and strategy games and our city treasure hunt activities.

The French poet Gustave Nadaud made Carcassonne famous:
I’m growing old, I’ve sixty years;
I’ve laboured all my life in vain:
In all that time of hopes and fears
I’ve failed my dearest wish to gain.
I see full well that here below
Bliss unalloyed there is for none.
My prayer will ne’er fulfilment know
I never have seen Carcassonne,
I never have seen Carcassonne!