Narbonne : Cathar Castles
: Fontfroide Abbey
Nature : Beaches
city of Narbonne
Since its foundation in 118 BC, Narbonne, first Roman colony
outside of Italy, remains an obligatory way of passage between
Italy and Spain, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, the Massif
Central and the Pyrenees. As the crossroads of southern Europe,
the Via Domitia went through Narbonne during Roman times.
Still a strategic merchant town, Narbonne prides itself as
a town for meetings, leisure and discoveries. Mediterranean
in spirit, with all the associated charm and beauty, Narbonne
invites you to share, under its mild climate, its permanent
desire for " good living ".
Narbonne is an average sized town with 50,000 in habitants;
an important axis for road, motorway and rail communications;
15km from the Mediterranean to which it is linked by the Robine
canal; 55km from Carcassonne, 62 km from Perpignan and 90km
Having inherited a rich ancient and medieval history, and
been an important art centre until the 18th century, Narbonne
is the proud owner of a heritage carefully maintained by the
restoration and development of its old town centre. Amongst
the main sites to see in Narbonne are:
Cathedral of Saint-Just and Saint Pasteur -
one of the most beautiful religious buildings in the south
The cathedral treasure - harbours exceptional
examples of gold jewellery and a beautiful tapestry from the
beginning of the 16th century
The Via Domitia - an important roman road discovered
in 1997 and can be seen today in the middle of the town hall
The Bishops' Palace - including the Old and
New Palaces, Gilles Aycelin dungeon (from the tower there
is an exceptional birds-eye view of the town), Anchor passage
and many little walkways.
The underground galleries of Horreum - a network
of ancient, underground warehouses used to stock merchandise
traded in Narbonne since ancient times and which date from
Narbonne Lapidary Museum - in the old church of Our
Lady of Lamourguié which houses the most important collection
of French Roman lapidary.
places to visit:
The Robine canal - an important part of the
way of life of the people of Narbonne. The canal crosses through
the centre of the town, linking the Canal du Midi with the
Mediterranean and reflects the history of the old town.
Pont des Marchands (Merchants' Bridge), a pedestrian
street lined with shops, passes over the single remaining
visible Roman arch, part of the Via Domitia. Boat trips on
the canal are available in summer.
Halles - a covered market by the canal, is a pavillion
built in the style of Baltard which opened its doors to the
public in 1901. This superb metallic structure with stone
doors and majestic roof makes the Halles one of the most beautiful
covered markets in France. The market is very busy throughout
the year but especially in the summer months. With 72 traditional
stalls serving the best fresh produce, from fish to fruit
and vegetables, from cheeses to regional wines, Narbonne's
covered market is renowned in the Languedoc region for its
quality, choice and atmosphere.
The House of Charles Trenet - the birthplace
of one of France's legendary crooners, guided and musical
tours are available.
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