In Languedoc, between Toulouse and Montpellier, in a natural, preserved at the foot of Black Mountain and near the granite plateau of Sidobre Castres, city marked by all currents of thought, the Cathar heresy of Protestantism is crossroads of multiple influences.
Old town with strong roots, rooted in history, it has kept this rich history of events and developments, cultural identity, architectural and strong economy.
Toulouse and Carcassonne are within an hour by road, Albi to thirty minutes.
All invite you to stay in this land Occitan.
Despite its original Latin "castrum", the city was not founded by the Romans, although the discovery of a Gallo-Roman Gourjade presence attests to the first and second centuries AD. The site was occupied from the Iron Age, 8th century BC, but the origin of the town dates from the early 9th century (810) with the founding of a Benedictine abbey. The monks bring the relics of Saint Vincent of Saragossa (patron of the city) where a basilica was built. Castres becomes a stage on one way to St Jacques de Compostela: the road to Arles. At the heart of the Cathar heresy, the city does not engage openly and submits to Simon de Montfort. In 1317 she was made a bishop and the rest until 1790. During the Wars of Religion, Castres, Huguenot stronghold, became a stronghold, many convent buildings are destroyed.
In 1595, Henry sets out to Castres 4th Chamber of the Edict, tribunal of judges Catholics and Protestants to make a fair trial. This is the beginning of one of the best of times. Fine mansions were built and participate in the rebirth of Castres (see: Guy Gabriel-street, House of the Edict, Victor Hugo, Montledier, Sabaters, Fellows, Frederick Thomas ...). A Literary Academy was created by a group of local scholars. In addition the cultural development of prosperity: the work of artisans of wool, leather and paper, textile Castres says his vocation. The 17th century bequeathed remarkable sets, especially the Bishop's Palace, designed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, which now houses the Town Hall and the Museum Goya. It is extended by a French garden designed as planned by André Le Nôtre.
In the 19th century, the city continues its industrialization and development with many amenities: it gets a great place Royale (now Jean-Jaurès), and a hall instead of Albinque. The year 1859 saw the birth of Jean Jaurès. In 1893, Marcel Castres receives Briguiboul, wealthy merchant and painter, especially a legacy consists of three oil paintings of the Aragonese master Francisco de Goya y Lucientes. The museum houses the Museum takes the name of Goya in 1947. It is now the second Hispanic art museum in France after the Louvre.