The episcopal palace of Berbie adjoins the powerful Sainte-Cécile cathedral. A magnificent garden, classified as a remarkable garden, is hidden behind this massive, military-looking building: the gardens of the Palace. They are one of the most visited sites in the city.
A remarkable garden
The gardens of Berbie Palace have the label “Remarkable Garden”. This national label is awarded to 300 gardens. Albi has two labeled gardens:
– the Palace garden since 2009
- the Rochegude Park since 2010
La episcopal fortress has been converted over the centuries into a princely residence. The former place d'armes became in the XNUMXth century a pleasure garden according to the order of the first archbishop of Albi, Hyacinthe Serroni, following the plan of the French gardens. The curtain walls, a former walkway, have been modified and transformed into a shaded promenade. From the walkway, a panoramic view opens onto the banks of the Tarn below the ramparts, the old bridge, the old mills and the Madeleine district on the right bank of the Tarn. Access is given to the circular promenade above the gardens, this allows a beautiful overview of the neat decorations drawn by this beautiful vegetation on one side and the panoramic view on the other.
The gardens of Berbie Palace are characteristic of classical gardens: arabesques of boxwood cut on a bed of white gravel simply accompanied in summer by quality flowering. A garden takes care of the maintenance exclusively in a natural way since any chemical treatment is prohibited, of the size of the gardens and of the summer flowering.
Lookout point over the gardens and the Tarn
An panoramic terrace is very easily accessible and allows an overview of the gardens and beyond, of the district of the right bank of the Tarn called the Madeleine, from the name of the church which was built there in the XNUMXth century, on the banks and on the mills. Turning around, a low angle view of Cathedral gives the feeling of omnipotence, the walls culminate at 40m in height, the bell tower at 78m. Dizzy !
The walk shaded by a trellis of wild vines is punctuated by the presence of 4 marble statues representing the 4 seasons and allows you to appreciate the designs of the garden from above.
Le 4 seasons path corresponding to old battlements once protected access by the river. A small port was set up below, where goods were loaded. Today the small path that we can see offers a magnificent walk along the water's edge and is even part of a long hike. “the green escape” (8 km round trip).