We ended our trip in Carcassonne, France before we returned to Toulouse before returning to the states. Just below is a bird's eye picture that somewhat justifies the title of this entry.
Carcassonne as one can see is a large and well fortified castle that sits atop of a hilltop in southern France close to Toulouse. There was a lot of development before the castle became what it is today. Early one in the 2nd century the Romans recognized the strategic advantages of placing a fort a top this hill. In the 400s the castle exchanged ownership with the Visigoths. In the 700s the castle was taken by saracens and until the Albigensian Crusades in 1209. Over the years from 700 to 1209, the castle became a well fortified place for the Cathars. Catharism arose especially in the 12th and 13th century. During its rise, the movement threatened the power held by the (Catholic) church. The Albigensian Crusades began in 1209 in order to destory the movement of the Cathars. Especially in places such as Carcassonne, Albi, and Montsegur. The crusade due to the papal decree, put the religious leaders of northern France against the leaders of southern France. During the siege of Carcassonne which was largely thought to be a impregnable fortress, their leader Raymond-Roger Trencavel was seized during truce discussions. At this point the citizens surrendered because there was no leadership.
This is a picture of the outer wall as well as the height of the inner wall of the city. It also shows the height of both the walls which further developed the perception that the city was impregnable.