Carcassonne was struck from the roster of official fortifications under Napoleon, and the fortified city of Carcassonne fell into such disrepair that the French government decided that it should be demolished.
A decree to that effect that was made official in 1849 which caused an uproar.
There is a little history out there for the Fortified Cite of Carcassonne, up till 1850 a large part of the area was completely in ruin,but it is nice to see onethat has been saved, at a major cost no doubt but saved none the less.
In 1659, the old Province of Roussillon passed to France under the Treaty of the Pyrenees, and Carcassonne ceased to be a frontier fortress. The old Cit? was left to decay, like the other frontier ch?teau's and was left abandoned during the 18th century.
As in many redundant medieval buildings throughout Europe, stone were extracted for new buildings, or to shore up old ones. The roofs of the towers fell into ruin. A decree of 1850 condemned the whole of the fortifications to demolition.
Fortunately, Jean-Pierre Cros-Meyrevieille, an historian and archaeologist, saved the city from destruction. Thanks to him, and two other men M?rim?e and the architect Viollet-Le-Duc, the walled city of Carcassonne came under the control of "the Administration of the Arts". An architect and medievalist Viollet le Duc began reconstruction in 1844, starting with Saint Michael's cathedral and the City's ramparts.
Restoration of the fortifications started in 1853 and continued until the 1960s.
As Viollet le Duc said himself:
I doubt that there exists anywhere in Europe as complete and
formidable a system of defence of the 6th, 12th and 13th centuries,
as interesting a subject of study, and a more picturesque situation.
As it looks now.
most of the following images date from around 1830 up till 1920