No Foolin, Carcassonne Castle is Incredible 🏰 French Medieval Castle Visit


Carcassonne castle in France, might have one of the most impressive fortresses I’ve ever gotten to wander through – largely for how ancient it is, but also for how well maintained and *still* lived-in it is! I made this trip because it was voted on by my Patrons, and if you’d like a say in the next poll you can join in here and then find me on the internet in all of the usual spots:

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Music by: David Cutter Music –

The Medieval French Castle at Carcassonne is also built on a much older Roman structure – Carcassonne castle is steeped in history and well worth a visit. You can read up on the celebratory circles painted on Carcassonne’s walls, turrets, and keeps here:

My name is Jay Swanson – I’m an American writer living in Paris on an artist visa and hoping to make the city of light my home base – at least for the foreseeable future. I write science-fiction and fantasy, vlog daily, and love pizza a little too much.

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How long have you lived in France? On and off for over two years.

What do you miss most about ho- NACHOS

You’re always talking about living on some ship. WHAT SHIP? – I made a “Draw My Life” video that explains a lot here:

Where are you from originally? – Pullman, Washington – a small university/agricultural town near Idaho (and yes, the potatoes are amazing).

What do you film with? – I’ve made a lot of changes recently, but I try to keep my gear list up to date if you want to see what I use and buy some for yourself:

What do you edit with? – Adobe Premiere – it’s pretty much all I’ve ever used since high school.

Aren’t you ever freaked out by leaving your camera behind to film yourself? – Yep. But not too badly – I tend to be careful when I do.

Why are you living in #Paris? – Because I’ve always wanted to; I feel at home here:

Do you speak French? Oui.

You talk a lot about the books you’re working on, what are they about? – They’re sci-fi (and fantasy) and I’ve got a decent pitch for you here:

Do you make money off YouTube? – Ha, no. I wish. It took me over 500 videos to make my first total $100 off adsense. I think it will slowly change, but VERY slowly.

I really enjoy your videos, how can I support you? – The easiest and best way to support me is through Patreon, where you can pitch in as little as $1/mo to help me make better videos:

I don’t trust this Patreon thing – can I just paypal you? – Here’s my ko-fi if that’s your thing (and coffee is your game):

But I want to send you something tangible! – I do have a wishlist on Amazon, though it’s a bit complicated with the international shipping situation. This is the US one:

And here’s the French wishlist:

Thanks for watching!


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  1. Okay I just watched this one right now and seeing you all googly eyed by it was positively charming.
    Side note Carcassone is right in the thick of "terre d'ovalie" (an expression used by soccer fans to say that this region is much more into Rugby) and Carcassone is kind of a place where fans of the New Zealand rugby scene are gathered sooo that shop's presence isn't too too much surprising 😉

  2. That castle was so impressive and massive and then you turned a corner and there was a huge amphitheatre…wow, thought I'd seen my fair share of cool scottish ones, but that wins! I also have more of an appreciation of cathedrals since I read Ken Follets' Pillars of the Earth…albeit fiction – it really made me think about how much they had to overcome without the tools we have today to build such beautiful buildings with incredible detail.

  3. I really enjoyed the tour and the history lesson. Carcassonne was definitely a good choice. Would love to see you hiking through the mountains too (Alps or Pyrenees, doesn't matter).

  4. This isn't passive aggressive: you're supercilious, pompous, and full of yourself for no reason. I unsubscribed because I couldn't handle so much whining and indecisiveness about getting your life together. Peace out.

  5. About the Rugby shop, Carcassonne is a Rugby city more than Football/Soccer, that's why, and btw Carcassonne is not a castle it's a medieval fortified city ^^

  6. I found this great book, "The Road From the Past, Traveling Through History in France" by Ina Caro. It's divided up by regions and has 20 pages dedicated to Carcassonne. Next time I'm in France, this will be my guide. Great video!

  7. Kia Ora Jay, hope you're open to some constructive feedback/ my opinion? I love your channel and vlogs but not this one. I was sooo looking forward to seeing this medieval castle and Basilica, but I didn't enjoy your editing at all. Editing the shots in time to the music? Seriously? It made it jerky and not a pleasant watch. The shots were too short to get any real idea of what it was like. I ended up feeling quite nauseous. I video the children that I work with a lot and I'm learning to slow my 'spinning the camera around' speed down. I've been a long time viewer and this is probably the first vlog that I'm 'WTF' about. Hope the rest of your trip went well.

  8. Wow, I feel like I actually was on a visit myself. Got to see various castles over the years, Chateau du Chillon, Helsingore, etc., (Pls excuse the misspellings), and always enjoyed them and learning about the local history. This was great.

  9. Jay, i think you should visit "Le Chateau de Guédelon" , It is not as impressive as Carcassonne, it is a completely different context : At Guédelon, they are actually constructing a medieval castle, with medieval techniques and tools. It should be finished around 2020, Check out one of the videos of Guédelon on youtube, it is really impressive

  10. I was just in Carcassonne last month with my 7th grade French class. We all think that you would enjoy this empowering and fun Légende de Carcassonne which explains how la Cité and town got their name.

    La légende de Carcassonne
    La date est 800. Au sud de la France, il y a un village. Le village est bien
    protégé parce qu’il y a un mur solide qui l’entoure.
    Un jour l’armée de Charlemagne arrive. L’armée attaque le village mais le
    mur est très solide.
    L’armée fait le siège au village. L’armee attend. Les citoyens attendent
    aussi. Un an. Deux ans. Trois ans passent.
    Dans le village, il y a un problème : les citoyens mangent et mangent. Ils ne
    peuvent pas quitter le village pour chercher à manger à cause du siège.
    Un jour, il n’y a qu’un sac de blé et un cochon qui restent. Les gens ont
    faim. Dans le village, il y a une dame très intelligente qui s’appelle Carcas.
    Elle a une idée pour sauver le village. Elle prend le sac de blé et elle le
    donne au cochon. Le cochon mange le blé et le ventre du cochon grossit.
    Dame Carcas prend le cochon et elle le jette de l’autre côté du mur.Le
    cochon tombe et son grand ventre éclate. Le cochon est mort.
    L’armee de Charlemagne voit le cochon avec son ventre plein de blé.
    L’armée pense que le village doit être très riche s’ils peuvent jetter un
    cochon plein de blé. Ainsi Charlemagne et son armée décident d’enlever le
    siège et le village est sauvé!
    Dame Carcas va vite à l’église, et elle sonne la cloche avec de la joie. Les
    villageois crient «Carcas sonne ! » Voilà la raison pour laquelle le village
    s’appelle aujourd’hui Carcassonne !

  11. I love your Paris vlogs so much but I also am loving this trip and seeing other parts of France! This is a beautiful video x

  12. So happy you got to see Carcassonne! We were there last summer and got to see the yellow paint/stickers. When we went into town with the cousins, yea… they didn't like it at all. You're not too far from the Med (Perpignan & Argelès-sur-Mer where my family is from) to stick your toes into the water. But if not, I see 'road trip' in your future. Again, thanks for sharing your travels through your eyes via YouTube. Oh…I hope you get a chance to try some Cassoulet from Restaurant Adelaide which makes it in-house fresh (but I know you're on a time crunch, so I know it might not be in the cards).

  13. Have you ever been to Mont-Saint-Michel? If not, that's the next place you should visit if you like medieval architecture.

  14. Show the video where you eat snails to the french administration … they can't refuse you the nationality after.

  15. Ok… never had Escargot but I will have to give that a try… the garlic and parsley butter looks very tasty!

  16. Great scenic video with outstanding editing. I believe Viollet-le-Duc was responsible for more than 2 dozen restorations.

  17. As an architect, I loved hearing you talk passionately about the beauty of the Roman & medieval architecture. If you like the diversity of time and styles, you should stop by Dordogne sometime and visit the Chateau de Commarque west of Sarlat. It's an amazing medieval castle built on top of prehistoric ruins and it's currently being renovated, very slowly. There is also the crazy & unimaginable house built on the cliff side at Maison Forte de Reignac. Talk about ingenuity without current-day technology, they're both very impressive and totally worth the time. Can't wait to explore Carcassone at night this June, especially after watching your video – thank you : )

  18. Great walk around the medieval fortress Jay but I'm wondering why you did not go for the famous Cassoulet ? I was advised to try it at Restaurant Roger as they make it In house and not served from a tin and made in a factory. Most restaurants apparently serve it tin-wise so maybe you had a lucky escape….

  19. Wonderful video. The walk along the ramparts was very interesting and the cathedral was amazing. It would be incredible to attend a mass there and be able to hear that pipe organ. Nothing like that here.

  20. The ramparts walk looks like so much fun! It is so cool that there are restaurants and so much activity inside the walls. Our agenda only will give us an afternoon, dinner, breakfast, morning and lunch before continuing on to Our next stop. We are staying in a Best Western Le Donjon which seems close to the fortress… but I guess we will have to “hustle” to see it all. Thanks for sharing your visit!

  21. I was at the medieval show in the amphitheatre a few years ago, under a full moon… Quite impressive! Go Jay! ☘️💪🏽🤠👍🏽☘️


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