Once upon a time the castle of Carcassonne was inhabited by a lady named Carcas. Rumour has it that she wangled to end the long lasting siege of the castle through Charlemagne. When nearly all the food supplies had been consumed and the inhabitants of the castle town came near suffering death by starvation, she ordered the last pig to be fattened and to be thrown across the castle walls. The enemies fell for this trick and thought that the castle still was far from being conquered, since the inhabitants obviously still had enough to eat and were not starving. Resignedly they withdrew. Subsequently, Madame Carcas let the bells chime in order to make peace with Charlemagne. Her stone bust can be admired in one of the gateways until the present day.
Carcassonne is a mere tourist village with about 250 inhabitants, the other residents stay in the town for touristic reasons only. In 1997 the beautiful old castle town with its double castle wall was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.