The districts of Old Alby reveal their heritage, their history, their particularities during the visit: emblematic monuments, half-timbered houses, Renaissance mansions, interior courtyards, picturesque streets... Albi "la Rouge", one of the capitals of the Languedoc brick, like its neighbours, Toulouse and Montauban, will delight photo enthusiasts.
The Saint-Salvi wheel
The Saint-Salvi wheel
The historic loop in the heart of the old center continues a few meters from the Sainte-Cécile cathedral. The Saint-Salvi district is organized around the collegiate, of the same name, dedicated to the first bishop of the city. It is also nicknamed the Roue Saint-Salvi for the shape of its wheel-like quarter. This form appears very distinctly as soon as you gain height. The shopping streets wrap around the Saint-Salvi collegiate church.
It should be noted
The commercial and artisanal vocation is still very marked through the names of its streets: cobblers for rue Saint Julien, boilermakers for rue Peyrolière…
On either side of the collegiate church and its cloister, two main axes are organized, today two pedestrian and shopping streets.
- One joins the Place du Vigan, the urban center of the city
- The other the Cordeliers district
The Enjalbert house
The mansions mark the prosperous period that Albi experienced in the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries when merchants and bourgeois grew rich thanks to the pastel trade. All these architectural riches are often hidden by simple brick walls and imposing and sumptuous portals.
Along the way, you will admire the town hall and the coat of arms of the town adorning the central courtyard, or the Enjalbert house and its half-timbered facade and skilfully arranged brick facing or the Reynes hotel with one of the most beautiful interior courtyards.
The next step is…
- The Enjalbert house, at the corner of rue des Pénitents and rue Timbal is the most successful example of half-timbered houses in Old Albi. The reference to Renaissance decorations: double corner windows with pilasters surmounted by Ionic or Corinthian capitals, triangular pediments, consoles with decorations bearing masks, diamonds, etc. are included. Carefully observe the facade in search of the Albigensian "little pisser", an enigmatic sculpture located above the magnificent entrance gate, on the 1st floor
Carefully observe the facade in search of the Albigensian "little pissor", an enigmatic sculpture located above the magnificent entrance gate, on the 1st floor.
The Reynes Hotel
The Hotel Reynes, rue Timbal, home of a wealthy pastel merchant is the symbol of this success where the marriage of stone and brick is of rare elegance. The busts of François I and his wife Eléonore bring a royal touch to its decor, they are visible from the interior courtyard.
Today, you can push the door of the Reynes hotel, which is:
- the seat of the Hiking Tarn for advice and itineraries in the Tarn
- un exhibition's venue
- un place of visit, at the level of its very interesting inner courtyard