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 Episcopal Palace :
From 1669, Monsignor Michel Tubouf, Bishop of Castres, built the episcopal palace between Agout and the Roman tower of St. Benedict, the only vestige of the 12th century abbey. The plans were designed by the architect Mansart.
Today it houses the Goya and City Museum.
The garden of the Bishop :
The garden extends the Bishopric was designed by Le Nôtre, gardener of the King, in the 17th century. Jewel, because it is a rare example of parterre gardens in France. Ours mastered the bumps trapezoidal bordered by Agout by deflecting its composition to the right to give it more depth. His masterpiece was the floor with 4 compartments, the boxwood arabesques ending windings supported and crowned with palms and scrolls. The apparent axis of this gorgeous set is the water point.
In addition, the garden (classified remarkable garden since 2004) has been preserved in its entirety, which gives it a great historical, cultural and educational, both at national and regional level.
The Goya Museum :
The Goya Museum will offer an overview of the unique Hispanic art in France with works by great masters of the 14th century to the present day, sculptures, furniture and a rare collection of weapons and currencies.
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, a textile center of the most famous. They are built on large stone cellars that open directly onto the water gates warhead shape.
The Theatre Castres :
The Italian Rococo Theatre, opened April 17, 1904, was built to plans by Joseph Galinier, Toulouse architect and pupil of Garnier. Castres theater has the unique dome painted by Jean- Paul Laurens.
The National Center and Museum Jean Jaurès :
The National Center and Museum Jean Jaurès allow you to trace the lives and commitments of this great orator Castres born in 1859. This 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 Platé sings since 1847 and it is 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 carillon and listen to the concert of the 33 bells of the carillon.
Park Gourjade :
At the gates of Castres, a vast natural area of 53 hectares for relaxation and activities (picnics, walks, playground for children, track rollers, pier water Coche, inspired ancient river boat procedures linking the historic center of the park Gourjade... ).
Park Gourjade also offers a nine-hole Par 36 golf course, mini -golf and a network of model trains and Archéopôle having recently discovered in excavations or prospecting in Castres furniture.
The sports complex Archipelago :
L'Archipel is a large modern complex on 5 acres with a swimming pool ( competition pool 25x21m ), ponds fun with lazy river and water slides, a park with beach volleyball and baby space of an ice - theater ( 56x26m ) for playing hockey, skating and ice dancing and entertainment and event hosting major concerts ( up to 2200 people), a restaurant, a bar and a theater ! A perfect stop to relax and spend the whole year or sunbathe sunny days coming. Many activities club forms are also available as the " Baby Swim ", pre and post natal fitness, aquatic fitness, aquatic garden for 4-6 years...
The site of the Borde Basse :
La Borde Basse encompasses a range of activities, picnic, water, walk, horse riding, tennis, paddle, skate park...
Hotel Poncet :
Pillars decorated with caryatids and Atlantes supporting a balcony surrounded by a balustrade and Ionic columns.
Hotel Viviès :
Built in the late 16th century to Monseigneur de Rozel, judge of the Chamber of the Edict. Today it houses the Centre for Contemporary Art.
Hotel Nayrac :
It was built in 1620 in the spirit of Toulouse architecture for Sieur Houlès rich cloth merchant.
Designer Boutique in the city center Castres 19 rue Eugène Leris.