A real Albigensian treasure, the Mappa Mundi of Albi is one of the two oldest known representations of the inhabited world as it was perceived in the XNUMXth century. The Vatican keeps a map from the same period. Its uniqueness is that it is the oldest parchment document representing the world.

The Mappa Mundi, a precious testimony

The original is carefully preserved in the reserves of the Mediatheque Pierre Amalric away from light, dust and humidity. There Map Mundi (aka World Map) is one of 77 leaves in a manuscript belonging to the chapter of Albi Cathedral.
This card, from the middle of the eighth century, served as a pedagogical document in the bishops' library and as a model for the Albi scriptorium. This map of the world is painted on a rather thick parchment, in goatskin or sheepskin. It represents the world in the form of a horseshoe. Heir to the representation of space from Antiquity and updated with Christian elements, it presents a world centered around the Mediterranean, (the only known world at that time) oriented to the East and offering around fifty names cities, regions, rivers, seas and winds written in Latin.

Joscelyne Deschaux, Albigensian media library


This medieval map is of international interest and of outstanding universal value. It is a valuable testimony to a state of knowledge and conception of the world; she is an extremely rare witness to the intellectual practices of teaching at that time.

Double registration at UNESCO for Albi

Albi is the only French city outside of Paris with listings on two different UNESCO registers

Exhibition of the Mappa Mundi of Albi

On video
  • The treasure rooms of the Sainte-Cecile Cathedral welcomes from June to September, throughout the summer, the facsimile of the map under glass and 9 information boards explaining the context of creation, content and history of the Mappa mundi of Albi from the XNUMXth century to the present day.
     THEoriginal of the Mappa mundi of Albi is kept, like the other medieval manuscripts from Albi Cathedral, in the Pierre-Amalric media library, in le Cordeliers district. Extremely fragile, it must not, for conservation reasons, be exposed to light on a permanent basis.

    +++ One educational table is installed in the media library and allows a playful discovery of the menu for everyone.

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