Carcassonne > Visit > St Gimer
he Saint Gimer Chapel is situated in the Barbican Street (rue de la Barbacane). It is a little building which dates back from the 17th century.
It was during a long time the unique place where the inhabitants of this parish could go and pray. The chapel very quickly became too tiny to contain all the parishioners, and it was replaced in this role by the Church St Gimer we see today.

Erected by the famous architect Viollet-le-Duc in 1854 in a neogothic style, St Gimer stands on the site of the former barbican of the Counts' Castle. The barbican had been demolished in 1826, and its stones sold by public auction.

The church is classified World Patrimony as well as the Cité, because it is considered as a part of Viollet-le-Duc's works, and as such has a very important historical and architectural value.

The view from the square of the church is astonishing. The enormous and austere mass of the Counts' Castle stands in front of us on the hill.

There is a high semicircular wall surrounding St Gimer's choir. This the only remains of the barbican, which was an enormous tower (60 metres circumference) linked to the Castle by the "covered passage".

"Covered" in the medieval language meant "protected". This way down from the Castle to the barbican was protected by two high walls, that still exist.

This sheltered path along the hill's slope was the only way to the Aude river in case of siege. Water has always been a vital element, especially in a very dry region like ours.