The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

1 year ago

Issue No. 17

Packed with fabulous features: Carcassonne, Nimes, Orange in Provence, Nice Carnival, Paris at Christmas, Laval in Mayenne, absinthe, the fashion district of Paris, recipes, guides and more. Our secret ingredient is passion!

astide saint-louis Back

astide saint-louis Back in the middle ages, a new Carcarssonne was created on the left bank of the river Aude. it is called the Bastide Saint Louis. Most visitors to Carcassonne miss it completely and what a shame that is. Focused on reaching the old citadel, they don’t even notice the imposing gates across the old bridge to this fascinating area that’s rich in history, architecture, cafés and restaurants, shops and markets. Built in 1260, the Bastide Saint-Louis is connected to the old city via the picturesque Point Vieux bridge which gets packed at night with photographers attempting to capture the beauty of the citadel when it’s lit up against a starry sky. Built in the 14th century, the bridge was the only link between the two towns until the 19th century. On the other side of the Bastide lies the Canal du Midi gently winding its way through Carcassonne. If you only have a short time in town, take a one hour boat ride with Bateau le Cocagne (who also hire bikes) near the train station. You’ll enjoy a tranquil taster of this historic canal and fabulous views to the Citadel. There is a quite different vibe in this city, although it is ancient it has a more open feel and is very light and vibrant.

Inside the Bastide is a warren of streets and old buildings. It’s a cool place in several ways. Even on roasting hot days here in the far south, the city doesn’t overheat thanks to its design that channels the four winds that run through the area to flow through its streets. There are 300 days a year of wind here and you can expect to enjoy the breezy touch of the Tramontane, le Vent d’Autun, the Marine and Mediterranean winds. The town seems to evolve outwards from the central square Place Carnot with its famous fountain, loved by famous French writer Balzac. This square makes for the most wonderful setting to take a relaxing break at a terraced café and watch the world go by. Where the moats of old once were, there are now boulevards lined with houses and shops. You can’t help but notice that the pavement is made from rose coloured marble. It was laid to honour the visit of Louis XIV, the Sun King, and was quarried from Caunes, Minervois not far from Carcassonne. Marble from this quarry was also used at Versailles, the Opera Garnier in Paris as well as in the White House in Washington.