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a city in southern France, capital of the department of Aude (historically, the region of Languedoc). It is situated on the Aude River near a canal linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Garonne River. Population, 46, 000 (1968). The city is an important transportation junction. Industry includes the production of wine, spirits, rubber products, clothing, headwear, and footwear.
On the right bank of the Aude is the upper (old) city, containing a double line of ramparts with gates and 52 towers. The inner ring was built at the end of the fifth century, and the outer, in the 13th. Also located there are a citadel built in the second third of the 12th century, the Romanesque-Gothic cathedral of St. Nazaire, and a medieval bridge over the Aude. On the left bank is the lower city (Ville Basse), founded in 1247, with the Gothic churches of St. Michael and St. Vincent (13th and 14th centuries); it has straight streets. A museum of fine arts is also located in Carcassonne.
REFERENCESPoux, J. La Cité de Carcassonne, vols. 1–3. Toulouse, 1931–38.
Morel, P. Carcassonne. Grenoble-Paris, 1962.