When Raymond Roger Trencavel proclaims himself Viscount of Carcassonne in the 11th century, it is a thriving city. He sets to work on its renovations and he repairs the walls. Set away from the centre, the castle backs onto the Gallo-Roman fortifications. The Viscount is a rich man with an open mind. He lives well in the Castle: hosting grand occasions of feasting, fun and deal-making. Two villages develop adjacent to the walled city which would later be razed.
A key strategic position between the Atlantic ocean and the Mediterranean, a prosperous medieval city, the home of the Cathars, a royal stronghold, an important textile production center; Carcassonne has seen many incarnations between its abandonments, looting and subsequent royal restorations.
Given the attraction of the Cité, the Bastide, and the surrounding area, property prices are very reasonable. Fully renovated apartments range from about 50,000 euros for a studio to 200,000 euros for a six-bedroom property. Houses in Carcassonne center are harder to find but are available from about 200,000 euros. If you extend your search to 5 kilometers out from the center, there’s a far greater choice, everything from new-build villas to renovation projects. Rents start at about 350 euros per month for apartments and from 600 euros per month for houses.