lowing down from the Pyrenees, the Aude is a very quiet river when it arrives at Carcassonne.
Carcassonne > Visit > Aude

It is maybe tired of fighting and clearing a passage through the impressive and narrow gorges of the High Valley.

The Aude arrives from the South, and passes the Païcherou, famous to all the inhabitants, den of vice of our elders during the sunday afternoon or evening dances...

The Aude also passes St Michel cemetery, which is on an hill above the river.This cemetery doesn't have anything extraordinary in itself, except some monumental vaults.

But it is situated on the former "Tenda". This was the place where people suffering from plague were kept separate from the rest of the population (in 1629 - 1630 for example).

After the cemetery the Aude bends and separates into two arms. Between the two arms : the Island ! This name is not inventive at all, but this is the only word we found out for this small piece of land ! You can reach it crossing a ford.

The island is a very nice and peaceful place where the Carcassonnais use to go for all kind of sunday activities... picnic, stretch out in the grass and have siesta, play the guitar, cycle, angle, kiss their boy- or girlfriends, walk along the river with their dogs, ..or kiss their dogs and walk with their friends, etc...

Well, I don't want to interfere in their private life !

If you are not utterly absorbed in those activities, you will maybe see the partially ruined building next to the little arm of the Aude. It is the "Mécanique de l'Ile", the textile factory of the Island and the Royal Mill. I advise you to take a little stroll in this very quiet part of the Island, just a step away from the Lower Town and the Cité. Walking upstream along the river, you go through orchards and gardens, and you get very quickly in the wheat fields and vineyards surrounding Carcassonne.

From that place you enjoy a panoramic view over the citadel you won't see in any guide book or on any postcard ! Just have a look !