Some twenty kilometres from Albi, by the river, the medieval village of Monestiés is a peaceful place to visit in the department of Tarn. Its origins are said to date back to the 10th century, and it now offers a rich heritage of old half-timbered and corbelled houses, ancient fortifications and cultural treasures.
Among the unmissable sights of Monestiés, be sure to visit the Chapel of St. James and see its twenty life-sized statues in polychrome stone! True jewels of medieval art, they represent the final episodes of the Passion of Christ, with a statue of Christ on the Cross, a Pietà and an Entombment, all three dating from the 15th century.
Then take a stroll through the village streets to discover other traces of the past: the 12th-century Candèze bridge, crossed by the pilgrims on the Way of St. James, the Griffoul fountain, the Church of St. Peter around which the village developed...
Also be sure to go and admire the works of Francisco Bajén and Martine Vega, a couple of Spanish painters who went into exile in Tarn, at a museum about them based in a 15th-century stately home.
Then take it easy on the banks of the Cérou to fully appreciate this village full of rural charm, awarded the "Plus Beaux Villages de France" label as one of the nation's most beautiful villages.