The Episcopal City

Cité épiscopale patrimoine UNESCO Albi
The Episcopal City of Albi has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2010. The Episcopal Palace, which reflects a rare image of power, and the imposing Sainte-Cécile Cathedral, are the two key monuments. More than a million visitors discover the city each year. We promise that your memories of this exceptional site will be long-lasting!

THE EPISCOPAL CITY, A UNIQUE URBAN BRICK BUILDING

Brick is the architectural signature of the Episcopal City. It creates a unique urban appearance. The beauty of this city changes according to the light: shades of red, pink and ochre. The brick used in the Middle Ages to create this Episcopal City is extraodinary and is unique in Europe. Built with mud from the Tarn river bed, this material is omnipresent in both religious and civil architecture. The Cathedral and the Berbie Palace are amongst 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.

  • Facing the Cathedral’s bell tower, Castelviel is the cradle of the city. With its small squares surrounded by medieval half-timbered houses and open-roofed attics, it’s worthy of being a picture-postcard.
  • Castelnau, the picturesque district with broad, straight streets, is the symbol of the modern subdivision during the 12th century. The Maison du Vieil Alby, home of the Albi Heritage Association, epitomises this district.
  • The circular shaped Saint-Salvi district surrounds the Saint-Salvi Collegiate Church and Cloister. This remarkable ensemble, erected in the 11th century, combines Romanesque and Gothic architecture.
  • The Coombs and banks of the Tarn offer a magnificent view of the Pont Vieux (one of the oldest bridges in France, built around 1035 - 1040). This bridge was the key to commercial prosperity in the Middle Ages and was an important defensive asset, particularly during the 14th century and the Hundred Years' War. 

  From the Pont Vieux, there is an amazing panoramic view of the Episcopal City!

Albi Grand Site Midi Pyrénées - Albi Tourisme, par Fabienne

VISIT THE EPISCOPAL CITY

Following the heritage trails through the historical centre, stolling from square to square through an urban maze, you can feed your curiosity. A visit of the historic centre by foot is easy, going from one district to another and one bank to the other. You will surely fall under the spell of the Episcopal City of Albi! 

Guided tours

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

Please note that this visit is in French. If you would prefer a private guide in English, please contact us.