Albi, episcopal city, a World Heritage Site since 2010, is part of the prestigious list of 802 “unique” cultural properties registered in the world at UNESCO. Discover the imposing Sainte-Cécile cathedral, the Berbie palace, an episcopal palace of rare power, the Pont-Vieux, the banks of the Tarn …
Albi reveals architectural treasures and is renowned for its unforgettable cathedral resembling a fortified castle and its episcopal palace which houses the equally famous Toulouse-Lautrec museum. We like to get lost in the picturesque streets of the Episcopal City. Brick is everywhere. But Albi is also a city open to nature, the Rochegude park, a lung of greenery in the heart of the city, the Saint-Salvi cloister or the palace gardens, the Pratgraussals leisure centeron the banks of the Tarn. Albi is turned towards its river Tarn, the banks are conducive to daydreaming… and to sport.
The Sainte-Cécile d’Albi Cathedral is the first tourist site visited in the Episcopal City classified by UNESCO. Sainte-Cécile, the largest brick cathedral in the world imposes the appearance of a fortified castle and offers whoever pushes the door a striking collection of paintings, sculptures, statues. More than 800,000 visitors cross the threshold each year.
Its so-called southern Gothic style distinguishes it from cathedrals such as Chartres, Reims, Amiens which are contemporary. Its austere and defensive appearance is affirmed by its dimensions. Whether one arrives by road from Toulouse, Rodez, Millau, Cordes-sur-Ciel, the Sainte-Cécile cathedral, is there, as if posed on the city, massive and proud, dominating the Albigensian roofs. Look at her, she doesn’t compare to any other.
Episcopal Palace of Berbie – Toulouse-Lautrec Museum
The former bishops’ palace, the Berbie palace and the Sainte-Cécile cathedral form a striking and unique ensemble of the Episcopal city classified as World Heritage in 2010 by UNESCO. It is the prestigious setting of the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, of international reputation. Built in the 13th century, the Palais de la Berbie is one of the oldest castles in France, prior to the construction of the famous Palais des Papes in Avignon, in the Occitanie region.
The Saint-Salvy cloister
Undoubtedly, Saint-Salvi is the oldest church in Albi (end of the 11th century). It is located a few steps from the cathedral square and stands out for its brick and white stone architecture and its watchtower which dominates the district.
A passage through the cloister is essential, you will suddenly be transported to a haven of peace in the very heart of the Albigensian activity. The cloister offers a corner of greenery and a garden of medicinal plants. Walk along the gallery, take the corridors and you will arrive at Place Saint-Salvi bordered by its arcades.
Do not leave the premises without immortalizing these typical pictures of Old Alby.
Rochegude Park is a 4 hectare green lung in the city center of Albi. A popular place for walking and relaxing with Albigensians and visitors, it offers many walking paths.
This 4 hectare park bearing the name of Admiral Pascal de Rochegude will appeal to the whole family. French garden, English garden, garden of scents, the bird island make up this labyrinth of greenery. Small thematic gardens are also to be discovered in spring: the demonstrative garden, shadows and roses. Romantic statues with as subject of inspiration … the women find place in the beds. Small panels dotted around the park present the species with enclosed spaces for resident animals (ducks, geese, etc.).