The enormous bell tower dominating the roofs is to be seen from everywhere in Carcassonne and even kilometres around. It is 54 metres high (180 feet), and the top is crenelleted, so it was possible to put canons in case of danger.
The tower was used in the 18th century by scientists to calculate the exact length of the metre (but do not ask us how !!)
Saint Vincent possesses a set of 17 bells, some of them melted more than two hundred years ago. You can hear them during "concerts" hold in summer time. 54 metres (180 ft) is not the only impressive figure that characterizes this church. The nave is the largest one of the whole Languedoc, with its 21 metres (70 feet).
It was built in a typical southern gothic style : a unique and very wide nave without transept nor chapels. St Vincent's construction dates back from the end of the 13th century, at the time of the foundation of the Lower Town. The suburbs of the Cité were razed to the ground, and the inhabitants were allowed to rebuild their two former parishes on the other side of the Aude river.
Saint Vincent was for centuries the place where the Carcassonnais worshipped the "Vierge de la Parade" (Virgin of the Parade), patron saint of cloth merchants. This Virgin had alot of work for sure, as Carcassonne counted an impressive number of workshops, spinning mills, weavers, cloth merchants, carders, etc...
It is much more difficult to go and worship anything in this church nowadays, as it is closed most of the time ...
It's impossible to get a general view over St Vincent, it is stuck in the middle of the Lower Town's checkerboard of narrow streets. That makes it even more gigantic and massive.