ALBI : A CITY WITH TWO RIVERBANKS
Have you noticed, just a few steps away from the Sainte-Cécile square, that there is a wild river with its protected flora and fauna criss-crossing the city? The Tarn river is spanned by one of the oldest bridges in France, dating from the Middle Ages and still used today. The Tarn flows at the foot of Albi, the Episcopal City. Its source is in Mont Lozère and it meanders through the famous Tarn Gorges, following the Tarn Valley with its twists and turns. It crosses the countryside from Albi and travels to Montauban, where it joins the Garonne river.
THE BANKS OF THE RIVER TARN
Two walking routes lead along the banks of the Tarn from the Cathedral square:
- On the "Quai Choiseul", walk alongside the Berbie Palace, a former episcopal residence housing the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, then at the bend, walk up the steps under the fig tree or continue to the Pont Vieux and go down to the Moulin du Chapitre.
- In the "rue de la Temporalité", at the foot of the bell tower of Sainte-Cécile Cathedral, take the green pathway which leads along the river bank. Soon, birdsong takes over from the city's sounds as you walk along the old towpath, where there are a places for daydreaming, napping, riding and playing games with children.
THE BANKS: DEPARTURE POINT FOR ACTIVITIES
At the foot of the Berbie Palace, a pontoon signals the departure point for the scows, the typical boats that allows you to enjoy cruises on the Tarn from May to October. Pay attention as you sail along, you are bound to see herons, egrets, beavers and wild boar in this protected environment... The captain, John, will amuse you with his good sense of humour and anecdotes. The banks are also the first sections of the Echappée Verte, a 4km urban walk through the city. Jogging, walking, speed walking, cycling... There are so many activities to enjoy on your own, with friends or with family.
THE PONT VIEUX: THE LINK BETWEEN TWO BANKS
The Pont Vieux, which dates from 1035, proudly wears its 10 centuries of history. The construction of the bridge promoted the expansion of trading, making the transport of goods and of people easier and which enriched the city with the toll point.