Hôtel de la Cité Carcassonne - MGallery by Sofitel

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Discover the history of the Hôtel de la Cité Carcassonne - MGallery by Sofitel, which was once part of a medieval fortress.

Hôtel de la Cité Carcassonne - MGallery by Sofitel was constructed in the years leading up to World War I, which was an era defined by its economic prosperity, artistic expression, and political intrigue.

Many years ago, the Hôtel de la Cité Carcassonne - MGallery by Sofitel was once a medieval church that local stonemasons had built into the embattlements surrounding the ancient city of Carcassonne. Back then, the community was one of the most heavily defended cities in all of Europe. Founded during the height of the Roman Empire, Carcassonne straddled the border between rival kingdoms throughout much of its early history. The imposing stone fortifications that now encompass the city grew over the course of centuries, as different civilizations like the Romans and the Visigoths continuously fortified the settlement. Titanic battles waged before the citadel. Time and again, massive armies surged against Carcassonne’s mighty walls, its glorious defenders frequently fighting against such daunting foes as the Umayyad Caliphate and the Kingdom of the Franks.

When the Treaty of the Pyrenees annexed the region to the French king in 1659, Carcassonne ceased functioning as a garrison town. For the next several hundred years, the city gradually developed a thriving domestic economy, becoming especially established within France’s textile industry. But by the dawn of the 20th century, tourism had also emerged as a major enterprise for the city. Throughout much of the century prior, the original walled portion of Carcassonne had been abandoned in favor of the “lower town” that hugged the base of the citadel. Having fallen into considerable disrepair, preservationists endeavored to save what remained of the hallowed city. They fortunately succeed in convincing France’s national government to restore the old fortress under the pretense that it would serve as a terrific holiday destination. Thus, Carcassonne’s lucrative venture into tourism was born.

It was during this time that two ambitious entrepreneurs named Michel Jordy and Jean Cadenat decided to open a hotel in Carcassonne. Recognizing the immense potential that the city possessed as an international travel site, the two men selected an erstwhile chapel that bestrode Carcassonne’s southwestern wall as the location for their new business. Debuting in 1909, the Hôtel de la Cité quickly developed a magnificent reputation for its quaint splendor. Its popularity became so significant that the building was expanded upon twice in order to cater to the burgeoning demand. By the 1920s, the hotel was among the favorite hotspots for travelers journeying throughout southern France. Soon, many illustrious luminaries from across the world started lodging at the Hôtel de la Cité, including Winston Churchill, Walt Disney, and Grace Kelly, the Princess of Monaco.

Hôtel de la Cité remains as popular as ever. Consistently ranked as one of France’s most preeminent hotels, Hôtel de la Cité has maintained a bustling clientele base. Numerous celebrities still frequent the business, as Christian Lacroix, Johnny Depp, and Sting have all stayed on the grounds. The hotel’s continued success is in large part due to the Pujol family, who have managed the building since 2010. Their stewardship over the Hôtel de la Cité has been further reinforced through their partnership with Sofitel. Together, the Pujol family and Sofitel are honored to share this spectacular hotel with Carcassonne’s enthusiastic visitors.

  • About the Location +
    Many years ago, the Hôtel de la Cité Carcassonne - MGallery by Sofitel was once a medieval church that local stonemasons had built into the embattlements surrounding the ancient city of Carcassonne. Back then, the community was one of the most heavily defended cities in all of Europe. The imposing stone fortifications that now encompass the city grew over the course of centuries, as different civilizations like the Romans and the Visigoths continuously fortified the settlement.
  • Famous Historic Guests +
    Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom (1940 – 1945; 1951 – 1955) Walt Disney, legendary cartoonist known for such films as Pinocchio, Bambi, and Cinderalla. Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco, famous American film actress known for Mogambo and wife of Prince Rainier III.

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