Travels

Visit to Albi, capital of the Tarn in France

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Views of Albi from the other side of the Old Bridge

Our journey through the lands of Tarn it was going to close in the monumental city of Albi. We had visited the wonderful Montauban and Cordes Sur Ciel but both would be overcome by the magnificence of the capital of the Tarn. Not surprisingly, it is inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage of Humanity.

We arrived around four in the afternoon at the center of Albi and had the right time to leave our luggage in Hostellerie du Grand Saint Antoine, which would be where our battered feet would find rest that night after two intense days touring the region.

Before five o'clock we headed towards the old part of the Episcopal City. To do this we crossed a large open square where they had set up a small fair and the Albigenses enjoyed beers in the timid and unexpected Sun of a March afternoon. We wandered a little more and discovered the secrets of Albi ...

Santa Cecilia Cathedral

The tower of the Albi Cathedral seen from the downtown neighborhoods

When you look at it, you don't know if you are facing a cathedral or a fortress. Its dimensions are huge - it's the largest brick cathedral in the world- and its position, on top of a slope of the city, made its bell tower could be used as a watchtower.

Its construction dates from 13th century and it must be remembered that this entire region of the Tarn, of which Albi is the capital, was a bastion of the Cathars, wanting Catholics to take a blow of authority to recover it and build the cathedral.

In our exploration of his guts, what impressed me most was the frescoes painted in the vault on the altar. Vivid colors, dominated by blue, seem to have been painted only a few years ago. The secret of its great state of conservation is that parts of the original cathedral were modified over the years, due to the changes in the architectural style of the different periods. Thus, the vault was covered by another layer of stone, the frescoes being isolated inside. When they finally discovered themselves under the other structure, they manifested themselves as a work of incalculable quality and value.

The choir area, the treasure room and the great organ of the 18th century are the other highlights of the place

Toulouse-Lautrec Museum (Berbie Palace)

Moulin Rouge de Lautrec Poster

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