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Albi

Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Tarn

Albi - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Tarn
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Enjoying a stunning location on the banks of the Tarn, Albi really deserves its nickname of "the red city"! A mixture of brick and stone, this episcopal city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered one of the pearls of the South-West. The reason? Its superb buildings and picturesque charm. To soak up the atmosphere of the city, wander the narrow old streets of the historic city centre, or along the banks of the Tarn, both ideal places for a leisurely stroll. On the way, admire the old brick and half-timbered houses and the Renaissance mansions like the Maison Enjalbert or the Hôtel Reynès.

A gem of the Southern French Gothic style, the Cathedral of St. Cecilia is the world's biggest brick cathedral, and also the largest painted cathedral in Europe. Built in two centuries, from 1282 to 1480, it presents a richly decorated interior: 18,500 m² of frescoes, a roodscreen in the Flamboyant Gothic style and remarkable statuary. Look up to the vaulted ceiling and admire magnificent decorations in the Italian Renaissance style. The unusually large organ with four keyboards dates from the 18th century. It is placed just above one of the oldest depictions of the Last Judgement, painted in the 15th century. Another attraction on display in the building is a facsimile of the Mappa Mundi, one of the pages of a manuscript belonging to the cathedral chapter. In the Treasury, nine information signs tell the cathedral's whole story, from the 8th century to the present day.

Next to the fortress-like cathedral is the Berbie Palace, formerly the Bishops' Palace and another architectural gem. With a cour d'honneur (ceremonial courtyard) and a tower on either side, it is still very well preserved. Built in the 18th century, the palace houses the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, exhibiting many works by the famous Albi-born artist: early paintings, portraits, scenes from brothels, prints from the world of entertainment... Round off your visit with a walk in the magnificent palace gardens, offering a superb panoramic view of the river, the banks of the Tarn, the Pont-Vieux bridge, and the surrounding hills in the distance.

Continue your tour of Albi via the 11th-century Collegiate Church of St. Salvi, a subtle blend of brick and stone. Inside this beautiful monument combining Romanesque and Gothic styles, six large paintings tell the life story of St. Salvi as well as the history of the city. Under the organ, look carefully at the fine details and colours of the sculptures. Then head towards the charming cloister with Romanesque arcades and surprising carved Gothic capitals.

The very symbol of the historic city centre, the Old Alby House (Maison du Vieil Alby) is probably one of the most distinctive houses in this neighbourhood. Made of brick and timber framing, it has kept all of its medieval character: corbels, half-timbering, an open-air attic called a soleilhou... Upstairs is a permanent exhibition about Toulouse-Lautrec's younger years.

Measuring 151 metres in length, the Pont-Vieux d'Albi is one of France's oldest bridges. Built in around 1040, it was a defensive element during the Hundred Years War, then families moved in during the 16th century. They stayed in half-timbered houses built over the road. A few metres away, the Academy of Miniatures museum will enchant children and adults with its extraordinary collection of around sixty displays of miniatures recreating the interiors of elegant homes.

Albi is also associated with other renowned figures. First there was Lapérouse, an 18th-century navigator who went on an expedition around the world. A museum about him tells the story of this voyage. There is also Raphaël Cordoba, a painter who wanted to share his passion for art by creating a Museum for All. Based in the former Renaissance home of a wealthy pastel merchant, the Saunal Mansion, this museum showcases 65 reproductions of famous paintings executed by the artist from Albi.

Additional information
Albi

45 minutes from Toulouse, Albi, located on a promontory at the edge of the Tarn, can be proud of its rich heritage of the past. True, it has survived the centuries without too much damage. Even today, the ancient center with narrow streets lined with medieval houses and beautiful buildings bear witness to its history.

Sainte-Cécile Cathedral and the Berbie palace, built in the thirteenth century to consolidate the power of the Catholic Church after the chaotic episode of the crusade against the Albigensians, the Old Bridge, which in the eleventh century allowed the economic development of the city, the mansions of the sixteenth century that recall the flourishing period when the pastel, dye plant, was cultivated between Albi, Toulouse and Carcassonne... Without forgetting the colorful characters, like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec or adventurers like Lapérouse and Rochegude.

But one of the strengths of the city of Albi is his side "south"... medium-sized city, with its brick architecture impresses with his singing accent, colorful markets where local products catch the eye as much as buds.

Along the Tarn that divides the city, a hiking trail in the heart of town following the banks of 4 km: the Breakaway Verte.

Albi, dynamic city, cultural city, college town, but also voted the most sporting town in France in 2012.

Since 1 August 2010, the Episcopal city of Albi joined the World Heritage of UNESCO. The episcopal city is structured around the cathedral, the palace-fortress Berbie where the museum dedicated to Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the collegiate church and cloister Saint-Salvi... The area classified on 19.47 ha includes original medieval neighborhoods, historical monuments and major sites:

Things to see and do

Leisure activities

Last nameActivity typeRateCity
Barge trip in Albi and on the Tarn
Entertainment7 € to 25 € Albi

Places of interest

Information points
Leisure centres
Monuments
Performance halls
Transport

Events and festivities

Exhibition Hippolyte Hentgen
Videoconference: Pastel, History of Blue Gold in the Pays de Cocagne
Videoconference: The Bastides, what is Aquo?

Photos

Berbie Palace (© OT Albi)
Berbie Palace (© OT Albi)
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Barge on the Tarn Albi (© OT Albi)
Barge on the Tarn Albi (© OT Albi)
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Bridge over the Tarn
Bridge over the Tarn
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Cloitre Saint-Salvi (© OT Albi)
Cloitre Saint-Salvi (© OT Albi)
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old town
old town
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Albi and Tarn boat
Albi and Tarn boat
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A street near the cathedral
A street near the cathedral
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Albi, the Episcopal city
Albi, the Episcopal city
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Cathedral
Cathedral
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Saint-Salvi cloister
Saint-Salvi cloister
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St. Cecilia Cathedral
St. Cecilia Cathedral
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Cathedral
Cathedral
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Inside the cathedral
Inside the cathedral
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Inside the cathedral
Inside the cathedral
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Inside the cathedral
Inside the cathedral
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Inside the cathedral
Inside the cathedral
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Inside the cathedral
Inside the cathedral
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Inside the cathedral
Inside the cathedral
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Cathedral
Cathedral
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Statue of La Perouse
Statue of La Perouse
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Street Albi
Street Albi
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Rue de la Croix Blanche
Rue de la Croix Blanche
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Bridge over the Tarn
Bridge over the Tarn
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Old bridge over the Tarn
Old bridge over the Tarn
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Bridge over the Tarn
Bridge over the Tarn
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Museum entrance
Museum entrance
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old neighborhoods
old neighborhoods
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Church of Breuil
Church of Breuil
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Albi steeple dominant of the Sainte-Cécile cathedral
Albi steeple dominant of the Sainte-Cécile cathedral
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Albi in the historic center (© OT Albi)
Albi in the historic center (© OT Albi)
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On the green Escape, hiking in the heart of the city of Albi
On the green Escape, hiking in the heart of the city of Albi
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Brick and timber (© OT Albi)
Brick and timber (© OT Albi)
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Entrance to the museum Toulouse-Lautrec (© OT Albi)
Entrance to the museum Toulouse-Lautrec (© OT Albi)
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Collegiate Church Saint-Salvi (© OT Albi)
Collegiate Church Saint-Salvi (© OT Albi)
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With train to Albi (© OT Albi)
With train to Albi (© OT Albi)
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Ruelle Albi
Ruelle Albi
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Street Albi
Street Albi
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Street Albi
Street Albi
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Street Albi
Street Albi
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Cathedral
Cathedral
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Albi and Tarn boat
Albi and Tarn boat
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Albi and Tarn boat
Albi and Tarn boat
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Albi and Tarn boat
Albi and Tarn boat
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Albi and Tarn boat
Albi and Tarn boat
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Tarn boat
Tarn boat
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Albi and Tarn boat
Albi and Tarn boat
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Bridges of Albi boat
Bridges of Albi boat
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Bridges of Albi boat
Bridges of Albi boat
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The cathedral from the Tarn
The cathedral from the Tarn
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On the tarn Albi
On the tarn Albi
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The cathedral and the Tarn
The cathedral and the Tarn
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Albi from a balloon
Albi from a balloon
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Fashion Museum at 17 rue de la Souque
Fashion Museum at 17 rue de la Souque
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Fashion Museum
Fashion Museum
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Fashion Museum
Fashion Museum
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Fashion Museum
Fashion Museum
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Fashion Museum
Fashion Museum
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Saint-Salvi cloister
Saint-Salvi cloister
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New Bridge (© ViVilRoz)
New Bridge (© ViVilRoz)
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Inside the cathedral
Inside the cathedral
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Berbie Palace
Berbie Palace
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Gardens of the Berbie palace
Gardens of the Berbie palace
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View from the Palace of Berbie
View from the Palace of Berbie
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Gardens of the Berbie palace
Gardens of the Berbie palace
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Saint-Salvi cloister
Saint-Salvi cloister
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old quarter
old quarter
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Visits, leisure and activities nearby

Restaurants

Bed & breakfasts

Vacation rentals

Campsites

Hotels

Your holidays
A hotel
A vacation rental
A bed & breakfast
A campsite
A leisure activity
A restaurant
A rental car
A plane ticket
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