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.
The former Bishop's Palace:
By 1669, Monsignor Michel de Tubouf, Bishop of Castres, the episcopal palace built between the tower and Roman Agout St. Benedict, the only remains of the abbey from the 12th century. The plans were designed by the architect Mansart.
Today it houses the Goya Museum and City Hall.
The garden of the Bishop:
The garden extends the diocese was designed by Le Nôtre, gardener to the King, the 17th century. Jewel, because it is a rare example of a parterre gardens in France. Our expertise on the changing terrain of trapezoidal shape, bordered by Agout by deflecting its composition to the right to give it more depth. His masterpiece was the floor with 4 compartments, with boxwood arabesques ending with scrolls supported and crowned with palms and scrolls. The axis of this magnificent apparent is the whole point of water.
Moreover, this garden (garden remarkable ranked since 2004) has been preserved in its entirety, giving it an invaluable historical, cultural and educational, both at national and regional levels.
The Goya Museum:
The Goya Museum will offer an overview of Spanish art is unique in France with works by great masters of the 14th century to the present day, sculptures, furniture and a rare collection of arms and currency.
De Goya, the museum presents three tables, as well as large series engraved.
The houses on the Agout:
The old colorful houses on the river Agout date from the Middle Ages. In the 17th century, they were occupied by tanners, weavers and dyers who made Castres, one of the most famous textile center. They are built on large stone cellars that open directly onto the water through gates in the shape of warheads.
The Theatre of Castres:
Theatre Rococo Italian, opened April 17, 1904, was built to plans by Joseph Galinier, Toulouse architect and student of Garnier. Castres theater has the only dome painted by Jean-Paul Laurens.
The National Center and Museum Jean Jaurès:
The National Center and Museum Jean Jaures will allow you to trace the lives and commitments of this great orator Castres born in 1859. It is also a documentation center and a place for temporary exhibitions.
The Heritage Campanaire and traditions:
In the historical center, the bells of Notre Dame de la Plata, has been singing since 1847 and it should be noted that it is the only instrument in the South of France to sing every day. We invite you to discover the passion of the bell ringer and listening to the concert of 33 bell carillon.
Castres gateway to a vast natural area of 53 acres for recreation and activities (picnic, walk, playground for children, track rollers, Coche water pier, boat inspired by the old stagecoach river connecting the historical center of the park Gourjade ...).
Gourjade Park also offers a nine-hole Par 36 golf, mini golf and a network of trains and Archéopôle with furniture recently discovered in excavations and prospecting in Castries.
The sports complex Archipelago:
The Archipelago is a large modern complex on 5 acres with a swimming pool (25x21m competition pool), to play pool with lazy river and water slides, a park with beach volleyball area and baby of an ice-hall (56x26m) for playing hockey, skating and ice dancing event, and hosting events and major concerts (up to 2200 persons), restaurant, bar and of a theater! A perfect stop to relax and spend throughout the year or from tanning on sunny days. Many fitness activities are also offered as the "Baby-Swim", the pre-and postnatal fitness, gym water, the water garden for 4-6 years ...
The site of the Borde Basse:
La Borde Basse includes a range of activities: picnics, lake, walking, riding, tennis, paddle, skate park ...
Hotel de Poncet:
Pillars decorated with caryatids and Atlantis supporting a loggia surrounded by a balustrade and Ionic columns.
Built in the late 16th century Bishop of Rozel, Judge of the Chamber of the Edict. Today it houses the Centre for Contemporary Art.
It was built in 1620 in the spirit of the architecture of Toulouse, the Sieur Houlès rich cloth merchant.