Visit the Episcopal City of Albi
The country of Albi is, of course, Albi and the episcopal city, but it is by far not the only treasure of the region.
Ambialet hangs on the meandering Tarn, Cordes-sur-Ciel rises above the heavens, Monestiés and its life-size statues, Penne and its breathtaking castle, to name a few, deserve attention.
Albi, the Episcopal City ranks among the highlights of the Cultural Heritage of Humanity around the world. Since 2010, the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO recognized the outstanding universal value of the Albigensian site, visited by over 800,000 visitors each year.
Treasures of architecture, history and art await you: the Ste Cécile Cathedral, the museum of the painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the Grésigne forest, Vaour Country, Gorges du Viaur, Byzantine style frescoes of Estonian artist Nikolai Greschny...
Brick is omnipresent in Albi, the Cathedral and the Palace of Berbie are among the tallest fired brick buildings in the world. The Cathedral of Albi reflects an outstanding model of Gothic architecture called "southern" that gives it a castle-like aspect.
Must-see sites in and around Albi
The Episcopal City is structured around two real medieval fortresses:
- Sainte-Cécile Cathedral, the largest brick cathedral in the world
- The Berbie Palace, ancient stronghold of the bishops, today houses the Museum Toulouse-Lautrec, the largest public collection of the painter in the world.
It was listed for a remarkably well preserved building, a unique representation in Europe of urban development from the Middle Ages, to the modern and contemporary periods.
The city includes four neighborhoods of medieval origin, revolving around the cathedral:
- The Castelviel, cradle of the city
- The Castelnau, picturesque neighborhood with narrow streets and half-timbered houses
- The village of Saint-Salvi including college and cloister of Saint-Salvi, a remarkable ensemble built from the twelfth, combining Romanesque and Gothic architecture
- Combes and the banks of the Tarn whose old bridge, built in 1040, was the key to business prosperity in the Middle Ages.