Carcassonne > Visit > Lower Lists
his part of the fortifications connect the Counts' Castle with the Treasure Tower (Tour du Trésau). It is a beautiful walk through centuries.
The northern side of the ramparts is actually the oldest one in Carcassonne. It is maybe not the most spectacular, but it gives the visitor a very good idea of how Carcassonne looked like at the end of the Roman Empire, until the time of Trencavels' Dynasty and the Crusade, when the outer walls did not exist yet.

Like in the Upper Lists the outside wall dates back from the French conquest (end of the 13th century). The inner wall is one thousand years older !!!

But unlike the Higher Lists the towers of the northern part of the ramparts are low, horseshoe-shaped (not cylindrical) and covered with tiles. Most of them have broad openings, which made it possible to use spears.

After 1240, when the dispossessed Count Trencavel tried to reconquest his city, the old village St Vincent which was leaning on the walls, was totally razed to the ground and its population exiled. Carcassonne's new masters decided to strengthen the citadel. They levelled the hillside at the foot of the old towers and built the outer walls. This revealed the foundations on which they rested.

As stone towers don't practise levitation, it was necessary to prolong the wall downwards, that is to rebuild their foundation over a certain depth, to prevent them from collapsing.

This is the reason why we see today those very strange towers with a medieval foot (foundation from the 13th century), a Roman body, and a medieval head again (battlements, restored in th 19th century) !!! The whole architectural history of Carcassonne is piled up here !

All those giant's work sometimes provoked some disasters. The Tower of Vieulas did not like the way the medieval architects cut its Roman foot out and replaced it by a new one ! The tower fell over and the architects had to reconstruct the higher parts and roofs behind, so as to stabilize the whole. So Carcassonne has its own tilted tower as well !

Next to that tower you see the Rodez Gate, which gave access to St Vincent village.

The last tower before the Treasure Tower is higher and thiner than its neighbours. It was used as the city mill. The mill itself stood on the top.