A cradle of a city - its historical center

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Albi’s ancient city center is a heart of precious jewels. It rolls out around the episcopal assembly gathering an astonishing cathedral of Saint Cécile and the Palais de la Berbie. The brick in construction testifies the identity and the unity of the entier historical center. Discovering Albi means embracing a certain rhythm of a peaceful visit for few hours, a day or for a stay within exceptional surroundings.

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

The city’s ancient heart is located in the area that stands opposite the powerful bell tower of the Saint-Cécilia's cathedral. It is an ancient reinforced settlement, owned by the family Montfort in the Middle-Ages. Here 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 (The place for artists), welcoming everybody. It takes only few minutes to join the hall market of Castelvieil by taking the bridge of the Republic. Every Saturday arises with the flea market, a real institution of Albi where we can go antiquing, look for the rare objects or even exchange our things.
The district of Castelvieil will soon 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 all that with the soft modes of transport.

Albi le quartier du Castelviel - Albi Tourisme, par Fabienne

The quarter of Castelnau:

"Le Castelnau", which means the “new” area, matches the 12th and 13th centuries. The stroll here offers many interesting sceneries such as the narrow streets lined with medieval houses within timber framings and in corbelled construction. All along the walk is accompanied with small shops occupying ancient boutiques which makes this district even more charming. Following the street of the priests you will stumble upon an astonishing view of the Cathedrale in low angle which 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 stands for 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: 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

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