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Valar Qringaomis

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

France 2012 - Day 12 - Carcassonne - Château (Part 2)

France 2012
Day 12 - 24th October - Carcassonne - Château
(Part 2)

I then returned to the chateau to explore it at leisure.

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Château

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UNESCO World Heritage plaque

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Walls

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Gatehouse

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Notice that it's not a simple passageway - there's more than one strong point.

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Birds on tower roof

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St Louis Barbican

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Smiling Virgin above gate offering us Jesus. Naturally this is a copy.
This was put here to offend the Cathars who couldn't accept it.

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Another tourist trap street. Medieval streets are ideal since they're narrow so you must run the gauntlet.

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Entrance to paid area.

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Across moat

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This is interesting as it shows the stages of development. What you see jutting out is the old roof. The arrow slits are the Romanesque windows. And the big windows are Gothic, I think.

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Another example of multiple stages of development

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On how Carcassonne got its name
In Spanish too

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Courtyard

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They have audioguides in Catalan!

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On Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, restorer of Carcassonne

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On the ramparts

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Model of city

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On restoration

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On the ramparts

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View. Pyrenees in the background.

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Tower and town: Western Ramparts and Cathedral

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Town from ramparts

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On Basilica of St Nazareth and St Celse

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Development of Carcassonne

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Elaborate defences: there was a buffer area between the Barbican and the castle-proper

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Northern Ramparts with Gallo-Roman bits

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On the middle court

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Fireplace on first (second storey)
On the private tour I'd been unable to scribble since I was talking/listening all the time, but I'm adding what I managed to scribble later on my second round

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Windows

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On the evolution of the castle

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Walkway

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Defences sketch

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Hoarding

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Pillar and capital

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Holes to throw shit down at attackers

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On Gallo-Roman ramparts

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View of new(er) town

I was amused by the open plan of the castle. Or the keep, anyway. But it was an entire fortified city so it wasn't so bad.

There were no transepts in the churches - this was the Cathar idea of equality (no different parts of the church for different social classes).

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On Aude barbican

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Carcassonne's position commanding the surrounding area

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Virgin of the Narbonnaise Gate

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The guide said this second virgin was Romanesque so it was stuffer, but the sign says 16th century. He said Gothic was very complex and distant, but Romanesque was more chin chai, so people were closer to the art even though it was less realistic.

The Dominicans tried to win over the Cathars the soft way, but St Dominic died so the Church made his followers perform an Inquisition since they knew who was Cathar.

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Alabaster

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Head of Crowned Virgin

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On the alabasters

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Heads

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Smiling virgin

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Modillons
There doesn't seem to be an English equivalent. A Modillon is a sculpted architectural element which supports a cornice, the pre-roof (avant-toit) or balcony.

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These are not labelled but the Angel is Romanesque and the Virgin Gothic. Ergo the lively dress and smile. The Reims virgin's smile is even bigger.

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Vault key sign

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Effigy of Castillian Knight. He came to serve under the Mother of St Louis (the regent)

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Christian Knights fighting Saracen Knights mural - late 12th century
The yellow horse with the face is drawn with a technique Picasso used which shows 2 aspects of a face. According to the guide this was French Romanesque.
The one on the right with a round shield and a turban is a Saracen. He is also on the floor under his horse.
On the top right you see a camel - drawn by someone who's neer seen one.

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Back: shows the Annunciation

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Front: shows the Crucifixion
The Virgin is on his right. On he left is St John who has no beard because he is young. Mary Magdalene at the front collects blood and is smaller.
Below is St Andrew and his cross and St Peter and his keys.

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Christian sarcophagus
The Left Centre and Right represent the Trinity
The wheat is a pagan symbol now representing the bread of Christ

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This should be the sarcophagus lid. The 12 circles represent the 12 apostles and also the 12 cities of Languedoc. The circles are composed of 3 concentric circles - the Trinity.

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Ablutions fountain
The bird in the detail is like a caligraphy letter (the ones starting paragraphs).
The leaves are more vivid than in the Sarcophagus previously snapped

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Paleo-Christian sarcophagus
On the bottom right at Abraham and Isaac
On the side are Daniel and the Lions

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Eugène Viollet-le-Duc

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Wall and towers

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These 3 towers are original

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Garden

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Porte Narbonnaise

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Town view

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