"Albi la Rouge" Albi by Renteboy

Albi Travel Guide: 115 reviews and 412 photos

Albi la Rouge

"Albi the red" referring to the red bricks is a beauty at the banks of the Tarn that just pasted the rough Massif Central and fades into tender slopes. It's overal view is dominated by the gigantic Cathedrale Ste. Cecile. In 1678 Albi receive the title of archbishopric.
The old city is one of the most beautiful and charismatic places I visited during my trip. I almost looked like the time has stopped ticking back in the 15th century.
Albi is also inextricable related with the famous painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) which work can be visited in the museum located in the shadows of the Cathedrale.

Cathedrale Ste. Cécile

It was built by Christian Church at the end of the Cathare Heresy starting in the 13th century to show its absolute authority. (Beside this cathedrale, the Bishops palace 'Palais de la Berbie', whas build and together they must become the new symbols of the regained power upon the irreligious ones)

It took two centuries to build it (from 1282 to 1480) and was build under (bishop) Bernard de Castanet's authority.

During that time, many wars where fought and churches became ideal hiding or strategic buildings because they where build in brick or stone. They got a bell tower that could be used as watchtower and new churches build that time tended to look like fortresses. As its completely build in red bricks, it makes this cathedral the largest brick building in the world!

The contrast with the robust look on the outside contradicts completely with its subtle interior! It was painted by unknown Flemish artists around 1475-1480, but it looked like that the renewals never seemed to end... until they did at the end of the 17th century. These days the cathedral accommodates several Rome's Catholic treasures which you can visited (paid of course!).

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:the old town: the most beautiful and charismatic place I visited
  • Cons:tourists... lots of them!
  • In a nutshell:you must visit Albi once...
  • Last visit to Albi: Aug 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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