Learning Exercise

The Walled Town of Carcassonne and The Middle Ages in Myth and Reality

The Walled Town of Carcassonne web site is in French, Englilsh, and Italian. The web site details the history of southwestern France devastated at the time of the Crusades for alleged heresies against the Roman Catholic Church, particularly the Cathar Herersy. There are good bibliographies and brief biographies on the leading figures of the era.

The Walled Town of Carcassonne is in French but the site will soon have English and Italian versions. The Middle Ages in... see more


Instructions: Click English. Click History. There are two categories under Antiquity, 4 categories under Middle Ages, 1 under Modern History, and 1 under Present Day. Read each of the eight sections under History. Answer the following questions.

1. Where is Languedoc?
2. When was Carcassonne founded and under what conditions?
3. How did Rome influence the Carcassonne region of France?
4. Where did the Visigoths come from and how did they shape the history of Carcassonne?
5. What is the legend of Dme Carcas?
6. Describe the accomplishments of the Trencavel Dynasty during the 11th and 12th centuries.
7. What was the Cathar Heresy?
8. Why was there conflict between Rome and Carcassonne?
9. What was the Albigensian Crusade of 1209-1229?
10. How did the Crusade affect Carcassonne and the surrounding areas?
11. What happened to the Trencavel family?
12. When did France's Capetian Royal Family intercede in the affaris of Carcassonne?
13. What was a royal Senechalsy?
14. Describe the reconstructed Carcassonne.
15. What happened to Carcassonne during the 13th and 14th centuries?
16. What happened to Carcassonne during the 14th-18th centuries?
17. Why did Carcassonne decline?
18. Who was Viollet le-Duc?
19. What role did he play in Carcassonne's future?
20. What did archaeology tell historians about Carcassonne's past?
21. Why was the restoration of Carcassonne debated?
22. Describe the design of Carcassonne Castle.
23. Describe the interior of the Cathedral of Saint-Nazaire Saine Celie.
24. Who was Guillaume Radulphe?
25. Explain the significance of the following elements in the Castle: the Rodez Gate, the Narbonne Gate, the Comtal Castle.
26. How was the castle defended?
27. Why did the castle eventually fall?


Technical Notes



None. Students who read and speak French will find this a good site to practice their skills. The site is in both English and Italian as well.


History of France; The Middle Ages; The Albigensian Crusade.

Learning Objectives

To acquaint students with a period and region in French History that allegedly challenged the authority of the Papacy.
To acquaint students with the Albigenisian Crusade and the Cathar heresy.
To demonstrate to students the significant role of the Roman Catholic Church in the affairs of nation-states during the Middle Ages.