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Peer Review

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



Overall Numeric Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Feb 14, 2011 by History Editorial Board
Overview: The Walled Town of Carcassonne is in French, English and Italian. The
Carcassonne site details the history of southwestern France during the 11th to
the 13th centuries at the time of the Crusades and during the Cathar Heresy of
Carcassonne that led to the Papacy's Albigensian Crusade against this region.
There are good bibliographies, brief biographies, excellent diagrams, charts,
illustrations, and pictures of Carcassonne Castle. provides an introduction to the history of Carcassone from the pre-Roman period to the 20th century, with sharp focus on the city's Medieval heritage.
Type of Material: Lecture/Presentation.
Recommended Uses: Western Civilization; The Middle Ages; History of France; History of the Roman
Catholic Church.
Technical Requirements: None.
Identify Major Learning Goals: To acquaint students with the city and region know as Carcassonne.
To acquaint students with the Cathar Heresy and the Albigensian Crusade.
To encourage students to debate the role of the Roman Catholic Church during a
critical period in the Church and France's history during the Middle Ages.
Target Student Population: high school to undergraduate college students
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None unless students what to use the site in French. Site is in English and
Italian as well.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The website is divided into Virtual Visit, 19th century Restoration, History,
Real and Imaginary, and a Guide. There is good information on the 19th and 20th
century restoration of Carcassonne and a reevaluation of its role in French and
Catholic Church history. The section on History details Carcassonne's history
during Roman, Medieval, 19th century, and 20th century periods. The most
detailed sections are on the Medieval period with four divisions of this era.
Emphasis is placed on the Cathar Heresy and the Albigensian Crusade. The site
offers good diagrams, illustrations, maps, and photographs of Carcassonne Castle
and the surrounding region.
Concerns: The site should offer either more details and/or links to other sites on the
Cathar Heresy and the Albigensian Crusade.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The site offers educators an opportunity to offer students more detailed
information about a critical time in the history of the Middle Ages that is
frequently less emphasized in the study of western civilization. The
illustrations, maps, charts, and photographs complement the text. The section
on the Middle Ages, divided into four parts, is good as is the information on
the Castle's restoration. Educator creativity can bring this site to use in the
classroom as a supplemental activity on the Middle Ages.
Concerns: Unfortunately, the site does not offer teacher's guides or learning objects for
direct classroom use. This would be helpful because many educators may be weak
in this period of French and European history.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The site is easy to navigate. Users can go back and forth from the homepage
with ease. Maps and illustrations come up quickly. Text has links offering
additional information.

Other Issues and Comments: Overall, the site is well put together, and appears to contain no major errors of historical fact or interpretation.