The cradle of the city - its historical center

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Albi’s ancient city center is an ensemble of precious jewels. It rolls out around the episcopal assembly gathering the astonishing Saint Cecilia cathedral and the Berbie Palace. The constructions made of bricks testify the identity and the unity of the whole historical center. Discovering Albi means embracing a certain rhythm of peaceful visits for a few hours, a day or for a stay within exceptional surroundings.

The quarter of Castelviel, a genuine historical crib of the city

The city’s ancient heart is located in the area that stands ahead of the powerful bell tower of the Saint-Cecilia cathedral. It is an ancient reinforced settlement, owned by the family Montfort in the Middle-Ages. Nowadays we can still notice the remains of the ramparts. Seeing the square Savène and its appearance of a small village within the city makes us absolutely unhesitating to make a detour to this place. The half-timbered, colored and flowery houses are organized in circle embracing the square, whereas roofs appear dominated by the impressive cathedral in the bottom of the view. Along with the square Saint Loup, this square is a genuine open air theater during the summer time when many interesting events are proposed during the festival Place aux artistes that welcomes everybody. It takes only few minutes to join the hall market of Castelviel by taking the bridge of the Republic. Every Saturday arises with the flea market, a real institution of Albi where one can go antiquing and looking for rare objects or even trade their valuable items.
Soon, the district of Castelvieil will be the starting point of a footbridge that will cross the Tarn river towards the leisure center of Pratgraussals. Tourists and inhabitants all together will be able to cross from one part of the city to another, taking a nice walk rich in impressive points of panoramic view and moving with eco-friendly transport modes only.

Albi le quartier du Castelviel - Albi Tourisme, par Fabienne

The Castelnau neighbourhood :

"Le Castelnau", which means the “new castle” area, matches both 12th and 13th centuries. The stroll here offers many interesting sceneries such as the narrow streets lined with medieval houses within timber framings and corbelled construction. The walk is accompanied with small shops occupying ancient boutiques which gives this district even more charm. Following the street of the priests you will stumble upon an astonishing view of the Cathedrale in low angle that you will grasp at once. A bit further, you will find an emblematic house of the ancient city center: the House of Vieil Alby. Today it is used as a place of exhibition and remembrance of the history of Albi. Perhaps you have already visited the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum placed inside the Palais de la Berbie and discovered the painter’s biggest art collection for the public in the world. It is precisely in the street which bears the name of the painter that you will find his native house: the Hotel du Bosc. Interestingly, the neighbouring house belonged to another famous inhabitant of Albi: the renowned sailor Jean François Galaup de Lapérouse. However, these houses are not available for visit.

Centre-ancien-quartier-du-Castelnau-rue-des-pretres*-vue panoramique sur la cathedrale--albi-tourisme.jpg

Centre-ancien-quartier-du-Castelnau-rue-des-pretres*-vue panoramique sur la cathedrale--albi-tourisme.jpg, par Fabienne

Discover all the scheduled summer visits