The Episcopal City

Book your stay
Cité épiscopale patrimoine UNESCO Albi
The Episcopal City of Albi has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2010. The Episcopal Palace with a rare power and the imposing cathedral are the two key monuments. More than a million visitors discover the city every year. You will have memories of the beauty of this... exceptional site.

THE EPISCOPAL CITY A UNIQUE URBAN BRICK BUILDING

Brick is the architectural signature of the Episcopal City. It creates a unique urban appearance. It marks its identity, its particularity, thanks to its palette of colours which vary according to the light, shades of red, pink, ochre. This brick was used in the Middle Ages to build an urban ensemble which is now exemplary but also the only heritage in Europe of this style of architecture. Manufactured on site from earth from the Tarn river bed, this material is omnipresent in both religious and civil architecture. The Cathedral and the Berbie Palace  are among the largest brick constructions in the world.

albi_vueaerienne_cite_episcopale_albi-tourismei.jpg

albi_vueaerienne_cite_episcopale_albi-tourismei.jpg, par Fabienne

AN EPISCOPAL CITY, 4 MEDIEVAL DISTRICTS

4 historic districts surround the two brick giants, the cathedral and the episcopal palace,

  • Castelviel, facing the cathedral’s bell tower is the cradle of the city. With its small squares surrounded by medieval half-timbered houses, with open-roofed attics, it’s worthy of a postcard:
  • the Castelnau, picturesque district with broad and straight streets, it is the symbol of the modern subdivision of the city in the 12th century. The Maison du Vieil Alby, near rue Toulouse-Lautrec, home of the Albi Heritage Association, is one of its emblems.
  • the ring-shaped or wheel-shaped Saint-Salvi district surrounds the Saint-Salvi collegiate church and the cloister. This is a remarkable ensemble erected in the 11th century, combining Romanesque and Gothic architecture.
  • the Coombs and banks of the Tarn whose Pont-vieux, built around 1035 - 1040 was the key to commercial prosperity in the Middle Ages and an important defensive asset, particularly during the 14th century and the 100 years war. It is one of the oldest bridges in France.

  The panoramic view of the right bank of the Tarn takes in the episcopal group

Albi Grand Site Midi Pyrénées - Albi Tourisme, par Fabienne

VISIT THE EPISCOPAL CITY

On foot, follow the heritage trails though the historic centre, stroll from square to square through an urban maze, where you can feed your curiosity. A visit to the historic centre on foot is easy to do, going from one district to another, one bank to the other. You will fall under the spell of Albi, the Episcopal City.

Guided tours

Book your tickets to discover the Episcopal City now with a local guide