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Carbonne - twice risen phoenix

The little bastide town of Carbonne, which is found some 40 kilometres south of Toulouse on a bend in the River Garonne, has risen from its own ashes not once, but twice, to finally establish itself as an attractive and thriving community. First ransacked by the notorious (or famous, depending on your point of view) Simon de Montfort, during the crusades against the Cathars, the town was rebuilt as an early bastide after a twelve-year period of desertion, only to be destroyed again during the Hundred Years War. It was finally rebuilt as a more strongly fortified bastide, in the 14th century, a short distance north of the site of the original village.

Interesting features

Carbonne has a good few interesting features, and is attractive and typical of its region. The buildings are mainly constructed from the distinctive local red brick, but there are also examples of stone work, including the very pretty stone bridge that spans the River Garonne. The church, of 13th century style, is also worth seeing, as is the market hall, an important feature of most bastides. Finally, the town has three towers, or "colombiers", whose original function will have been as part of the fortifications against attack.

Carbonne is a town of artists

Carbonne is popular with artists and craftsmen of all kinds, and has something of a reputation for high quality arts and crafts. The town's museum, the Abbal, is a good place to visit, and among many interesting exhibits offers the chance to see some superb sculptures. Whether it is the beautiful landscapes, the architectural design of the towns and villages, or the purity of light that the region enjoys that calls the artists to Carbonne, you do not need an artist's eye to see that there is something special about this town.

Luxuries and necessities

Carbonne can supply the wherewithal to fulfil most everyday requirements, and the shops and services you can find in this little town are sufficient for most people. These services include schools, health care and a library. Of course, if you do need more, there is the great city of Toulouse just 40 kilometres away, and there you will have access to everything from top designer boutiques to theatre, cinema, nightclubs and a thousand and one cultural events and leisure activities.

Sports and leisure

Sportsmen are well catered for too. Carbonne makes a great base for sporting pursuits as it is equidistant from the two seas, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. This allows for access to the surf and accompanying youth culture on the west coast or the warm tranquil waters and sophisticated lifestyle of the Med. In the more immediate area you can find tennis courts, mountain biking, road cycling and pony trekking. Carbonne has a big reservoir, and in summer there is a swimming pool open in the town. Kids can enjoy the skate park, and those who like team sports can join clubs for rugby, football, handball and basket ball. Of course, you are also close to the ski resorts in winter, so almost anything is possible here.

How to get there

Toulouse airport at Blagnac, just 45 minutes from the town, has direct flights from the UK every day. This is served by numerous airlines, including easyJet, flybe, bmi, Jet2 and British Airways. Toulouse, just 40 kilometres away, also has the advantage of a TGV station, so you can travel by rail and change at Toulouse for local services. As for travelling by road, the A64 motorway runs very near to the town, so travelling is easy whichever mode of transport you choose.

Property prices and availability in and around Carbonne

The Haute-Garonne has recently become a very popular place to live, so property prices have risen accordingly. Carbonne is just far enough away from Toulouse to keep prices reasonable though, so it is a great place to look if you are seeking a bit of a bargain.

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Carbonne AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Carbonne?

Carbonne is located in the south-west of France. It lies in the centre of the Haute-Garonne department, although closer to the department's eastern border.

Carbonne Property Map


Midi-Pyrénées Guide

Midi-Pyrénées Property Map


Haute-Garonne Guide

  Haute-Garonne Map

Population: 3,692

Access: By air: Fly to Toulouse-Blagnac, just 45 minutes from the town. By road: Carbonne lies off the A64 auto route. By rail: There is a TGV station at Toulouse where you can link to local services.

Economy: The economy is primarily agricultural, with cereal growing important. Industries include hydroelectricity and concrete.

Interesting fact: Carbonne lies within an equal distance of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

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