The Bastide grew up as the lower town, below the upper medieval city of the castle. However, it is the true centre of Carcassonne, a real habited town, unlike the medieval city today. It still has an ancient feel, with ancient narrow streets in a grid pattern. There are also no modern buildings. I don't know about at other times, bit when I was there before Christmas, there were several wonderful food markets where the tastiest morsels and specialities could be picked up. There are also plenty of places to eat out and little shops, with one or two picturesque squares. The squares had a wonderful Christmas atmosphere when I was there, with a pretty ice rink at one of them. It is all one would want from the typical French town we have in our minds.
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