The Lavaux is a region in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland. The Lavaux consist of 830 hectares of terraced vineyards that stretch for about 30 km along the south-facing northern shores of Lake Geneva. Under cantonal law, the vineyards of the Lavaux are protected from development. Since July 2007, the Lavaux is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Although there is some evidence that vines were grown in the area in Roman times, the actual vine terraces can be traced back to the 11th century, when Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries controlled the area. It benefits from a temperate climate, but the southern aspect of the terraces with the reflection of the sun in the lake and the stone walls gives a mediterranean character to the region. The main wine grape variety grown here is the Chasselas.
There are many hikes possibles through the Lavaux vineyards. There is a hiking trail ('Terrasses de Lavaux'), going from Saint-Saphorin to Lutry, recommended by the Tourism Office of Switzerland.References:
The Château Comtal (Count’s Castle) is a medieval castle within the Cité of Carcassonne, the largest city in Europe with its city walls still intact. The Château Comtal has a strong claim to be called a 'Cathar Castle'. When the Catholic Crusader army arrived in 1209 they first attacked Raymond-Roger Trencavel's castrum at Bèziers and then moved on to his main stronghold at Carcassonne.
The castle with rectangular shape is separated from the city by a deep ditch and defended by two barbicans. There are six towers curtain walls.
The castle was restored in 1853 by the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. It was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997.