Sainte-Cécile, the largest brick cathedral in the world, imposes the appearance of a fortified castle. Whoever pushes the door, a striking vision of colors, paintings, sculptures, statuary is revealed. The Sainte-Cécile d'Albi cathedral is the first tourist site visited in the Episcopal City listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and also in the Tarn.
The largest brick cathedral in the world is in Albi
Wherever you come from, by road from Toulouse, Rodez, Millau, Cordes-sur-Ciel, Sainte-Céci cathedralthe, is there, as if resting on the city, massive and proud, dominating the Albigensian roofs. Take a good look at it, it doesn't compare to any other. The singularity of its so-called southern Gothic style (XNUMXth century), its military aspect, distinguishes it from cathedrals such as Chartres, Reims, Amiens which are contemporary to it.
Its austere and defensive look is affirmed by its dimensions:
- 113m long for 35m wide and 30m under the vault
- a bell tower 78m high.
- 1282/1493: it took only 200 years to build this brick vessel
AND also the largest painted cathedral in Europe
18 m² of frescoes and decorations make it the largest painted cathedral in Europe. It reads like an illustrated Bible. It is imbued with the artistic talent of Renaissance painters. Take the time to observe the colors, geometric patterns, optical illusion sometimes introducing a note of humor. Animals and characters blend into the paintings.
The Last Judgment painting looks like a fabulous cartoon. Heaven, Earth, Hell are staged on more than 200 m2 of surface. In the lower part, the punishments of the 7 deadly sins do not go unnoticed: it's up to you, try to recognize them... According to visitors, the interior of this cathedral leaves you speechless!
Did you know ? In the XNUMXth century, violent language was used to induce fear of judgment and conversion. The Last Judgment at Albi illustrates Matthew's parable and its message through painting. This painting has never been restored and the colors remain surprising.
The Canons' Choir
A white stone fence, real stone lacework, separates the cathedral into two parts: the nave and the choir. Beyond the stone screen lies the choir of canons, a real church within the cathedral. The ambulatory, (corridor surrounding the large choir), presentsare statues of stone chiseled by Burgundian Masters.
Enjoy carefully all the details of the clothes, the facial features, the folds of the skin…a wave of a magic wand could bring them to life. Please note that these 200 statues make it the most important statuary in France for the end of the Middle Ages.
Good plan with Albi City pass
Entrance included in the Great Choir and Treasure Rooms
With the city pass, enjoy a combined entry to the Grand Choir of the Canons (audio guide included) and to the Treasury of the Cathedral. Admission is included in the pass, no additional payment!
Also enjoy included entry to Toulouse-Lautrec museum, permanent collections and temporary exhibition and in addition to many reductions for your visits and activities
Guided tours to discover the cathedral…
What better experience than discovering Sainte-Cécile in the light of commentary from a tour guide. or even during the summer following the priest's visit. Whether you are passing through, with friends, or in groups, we have suggestions for you. Discover the visits!
The Great Moucherel Organ
Christophe Moucherel endowed the cathedral in the 16,40th century with an instrument of extraordinary dimensions (15,30m wide – 3500m high, more than 4 pipes, 43 keyboards, XNUMX registers, a pedalboard). He is considered as the most classical organ in France. Listen to the playing of organist Frédéric Deschamps, official organist, concert performer of international renown, recognized for his talent as an improviser. Free concerts are offered on Wednesdays and Sunday afternoons in July and August during the Organ Festival.
We like… listening to the organs
- When for his organ festival which enchants the Albigensian summer from mid-July. Internationally renowned organists perform.
- During Feasts of Saint Cecilia in November
- Find out more
The Cathedral Falcons
|Opening hours from January 01 to December 31, 2023|
|Monday||Open from 10 p.m. to 18:30 p.m.|
|Tuesday||Open from 10 p.m. to 18:30 p.m.|
|Wednesday||Open from 10 p.m. to 18:30 p.m.|
|Thursday||Open from 10 p.m. to 18:30 p.m.|
|Friday||Open from 10 p.m. to 18:30 p.m.|
|SATURDAY||Open from 10 p.m. to 18:30 p.m.|
|Sunday||Open from 10 p.m. to 18:30 p.m.|