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Tourist Sites in and around Albi

Tourist sites and attractions within a radius of km* from the city center

* The distances are point to point and not driving distances!

UNESCO Heritage List At around: 0.43 km

Episcopal City of Albi The Cité épiscopale d’Albi - The Episcopal City - with its crown jewel Sainte Cecile Cathedral is listed in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 2010.
The complex includes the Cathedral, the Berbie Palace, the Saint Salvi Church, the Old Bridge and the old residential area of downtown Albi and covers a surface of 63 hectares.
Sainte Cecile Cathedral - 113 meters long, 35 meters wide and with a 78 meters high bell tower - is the biggest brick made Cathedral in the world.
Built between 1282 and 1480 and consecrated on the 23rd of April 1480 - the cathedral’s magnificent size stands for the triumph of the Catholic faith over the cathar heresy. It is a superb example of the "gothic meridional"...

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At around: 16.3 km

Monestiès Monestiès is a little village 15km (aound 9 miles) west of Cordes Sur Ciel.
It belongs to "Les Plus Beaux Villages de France" group.
The little medieval town was formed around a former hospital for the pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. For some unfortunate one it was their last stop as attested by the old cemetery right next to the hospice (now transformed in a garden).
The modest hospital building, that in time became the Saint Jacques chapel, houses now one of the most outstanding statuary group of the region.
The sculptures dating from the 15th century and wonderfully preserved represent three scenes of the Passion of Christ. Made of polychrome stone, the statues hover in their style over the boundary...

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At around: 17.24 km

Chateau de Mauriac The castle, situate in the middle of the wine region of Gaillac, was initially built in the 13th century by Guiriaudus de Mauricius. The construction was embellished later in the 14th and 15th centuries by its owners newly enriched thanks to the pastel commerce.
During the Wars of Religions, in the 16th century, the castle was partially destroyed by the Catholic armies because its, at the time owner, Bertrand de Rabastens, was a Protestant.
Since early 60s the castle, a private property, is owned by the same family who restored and continues to restore it.
The castle is exquisitely decorated with replica furniture of different historic styles and also serves as a display area for the paintings of the castle's owner....

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At around: 19.96 km

Gaillac Old Town and Wine House Gaillac is an old city in the department of Tarn.
The city's history stretches over more then 1000 years.
In the 10th century a monastic community settles on the banks of the Tarn River and a town is formed around this community.
The first documented confirmation of the existence of Gaillac dates from 996 AD when the town and its Saint Michel Abbey are mentioned in the last will of Raymond I, Count of Rouergue, Albi and Quercy.
The abbey itself is mentioned for the first time in 972 when it is consecrated by the bishop of Albi. The consecration document mentions also the existence of the Saint Pierre church.
With the development of the religious community of the town comes the expansion of the...

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Listed as Great Site of Midi-Pyrenees At around: 21.02 km

Cordes sur ciel Cordes sur ciel was named until 1993 just Cordes. The change of name, to reflect the town's unusual location on the top of a 100 meters (330ft) high rocky outcrop, "cordes sur ciel" translates as "rope in the sky", was required by its inhabitants and decided by a local referendum.
In 2014 this 800 years old community was declared "village préféré des Français" or "favorite French village".
Cordes sur ciel was built between 1222 and 1229 on the order of Raimond VII, Count of Toulouse, in full swing of the Albigensian Crusade, during the period of occitane offensive that followed the death in 1218 of Simon of Montfort.
The main purpose of this "bastide" or "new town" was to give a...

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Plus Beaux Villages de France At around: 24.55 km

The village of Lautrec The picturesque village of Lautrec, situated in the Tarn department of southwestern France, is a member of "Les Plus Beaux Villages de France" organization and the ancestral home of the painter's Henri Toulouse-Lautrec family (the painter who was a descendent of the Count de Toulouse most probably never visited it).
The town that was fortified in the 13th century occupies the top of a hill called "Colline de la Salette".
From its fortifications Lautrec still preserves some walls and the impressive gate called "Porte de la Caussade".
The architectural symbol of Lautrec is however the flour windmill built in the 17th century (and restored in the ‘90s) on the location of an older mill dating from the 14th century.
The oldest building...

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Plus Beaux Villages de France At around: 26.18 km

Castelnau-de-Montmiral Castelnau-de-Montmiral is another "bastide" in the department of Tarn. It is also a member of the "Les Plus Beaux Villages de France" organization.
The "albigeoise" bastide was built in 1222 by the Count of Toulouse, Raymond VII, a cathar sympathizer, during the times of the crusade against the Cathars.
Its name that comes from Occitan language - "Castelnau" means new castle and "mon mirailh" means watch point - reflects its location on the top of a promontory above the river Véze.
The little town has many interesting sites like its beautiful central square, Miramond House that dates from the 16th century, a beautiful statue of the Virgin located on a headland that allows a magnificent panorama of the surrounding...

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Plus Beaux Villages de France At around: 34.97 km

Najac Village and Royal Fortress Najac is famous for its beautiful village – one of the most beautiful of France (“Plus beaux villages de France”) for its royal fortress buit in 1263 and for its surrounding beautiful region of Aveyron river canyons.
The little village population 750 has beautiful houses dating from the as long ago as the 14th century and its main characteristic is the enlargement of the main street that forms an oval place.
The royal fortress – now a still imposing ruin – was built in the 13th century on the order of the last Count of Toulouse Alphonse de Poitiers for the protection of the Rouergue region. The stronghold took an active role in the Albigensian Crusade and the Hundred Years Wars...

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Plus Beaux Village de France At around: 35.34 km

Sauveterre de Rouergue Sauveterre de Rouergue is liste as one of the "Plus Beaux Villages de France" - "Most Beautiful Villages of France".
The village, situated in the heart of Segala region of southwest France, was founded as a "bastide" in 1281 by the King Philip le Hardi.
The town participates in the Hundread Yeas Wars during which becomes an English stronghold between 1362 and 1369.
The town flourished due to its textile manufacturing shops and the commerce with wine until 1628 when the plague killed 800 of its residents or more of the half of its population. ...

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Plus Beaux Villages de France At around: 35.34 km

The village of Puycelsi The name Puycelsi comes from the roman fortification - whose remains still exist - close to hill the village is located now: Celsium Podium, which means a high platform.
It is a member of "Les Plus Beaux Villages de France" family.
Puycelsi's more recent history goes back to 1180 when the abbot Pierre d’Aurillac hands over the village to Raymond V, Count of Toulouse, who fortifies the place. At the beginning of the Crusade against the Cathars the village is known to be a cathar stronghold.
The crusaders army lead by Simon de Montfort in 1211 and later in 1213 by his brother Guy de Montfort besiege the fort twice without conquering it.
In 1229 at the Treaty of Meaux...

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UNESCO World Heritage List At around: 35.57 km

Notre-Dame du Bourg Church Rabastens is a little town - population 5,500 - situated on the main Toulouse-Albi axis, in the department of Tarn in the heart of the south west of France.
Built starting in the first half of the 13th century as a symbol of the triumph of the Catholic faith after the victory of the crusaders against the cathars, Notre Dame du Bourg church of Rabastens is considered one of the best example the gothic meridional architectural style.
The church was consecrated on the 29th of June 1318 by Bérenger de Landorre, Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela and legate of Pope Jean XXII.
Arguably the most interesting aspect of the church is its mural paintings. Hidden since the 16th century and forgotten under several...

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At around: 35.62 km

Burlats Burlats - a little charming town at the gateway of the fascinating Sidobre region in the Natural Park of Haut Languedoc.
Burlats - now population 2,000 - was founded most probably in the 9th century around a Benedictine abbey.
In the 10th century the town and its region is donated by the Count of Toulouse to the Trencavel family, Viscounts of Albi, Béziers, Narbonne and Carcassonee, whose head Raymond Roger Trencavel achieved fame in the 13th century, during the Cathar crusade, for his fight against Simon de Monfort, the crusaders leader. Montfort beat Trencavel and the latter died, only 23 years of age, imprisoned in one of the dungeons of the Carcassonne fortress. The Viscount Raymond Roger did most probably grow-up...

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At around: 36.54 km

Castres Situated some 78Km (or 49mi) east of Toulouse and 44km (or 27mi) southeast of Albi, Castres is the second largest town of the department of Tarn (department number 81). The town - now with a population of over 40,000 - was founded in the 9th century around a Benedictine abbey.
During the heyday of the pilgrimage to Saint James de Compostela during the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth centuries Castres became an important stop on the so called "Arles path" to Compostela in Spain.
In 1317, Castres was created bishopric and remained like this until 1790.
During many centuries Castres prosperity was tightly linked to the Agout River that crosses the town. One can still...

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At around: 36.68 km

Penne Village and Castle The little medieval village of Penne - population just over 500 - lies on top of a hill overlooking the Aveyron River canyon. Looking like it will fall anytime from the tip of the hill are the ruins of the Penne Castle.
The first mention of a castle in the village of Penne dates from 825 AD and its first known senior was Geoffroi mentioned in 1096 in documents related to with Raymond, Count of Toulouse, whose vassal Geoffroi was.
The castle took part in all the conflicts that shook the southwest region of France during the middle ages.
During the Albigesian crusade, it's lord being a Cathar sympathizer, the castle was seized by Simon de Montfort, the crusade leader,...

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Mysterious At around: 38.17 km

Sidobre The story started around 300 millions years ago when liquid magma was buried under a huge mountain chain. In time the mountains have been eroded by wind and water and what remains of them is the central France mountainous structure called Massif Central. The lava has cooled down during millions of years and gave birth to a granite block - around 15 km long, 7 km wide and 10 km deep, one of the biggest in Europe - that forms now the Sidobre region, part of the Natural Park of Haut Languedoc.
Situated between the towns of Castre at west and Brassac at east, Sidobre offers extraordinary, unique in Europe, landscapes with huge masses of granite, sometimes strangely carved by nature...

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At around: 39.17 km

Magrin Museum and Castle Château Magrin is a little castle-museum situated on the top of one of those rolling hills that lie just at the feet of Mountain Noir range, in Tarn department.
It houses the only woad ("pastel") museum in France. The castle was built in the 11th century - during the crusade against the Cathars was a rebel stronghold - and extensively rebuilt in the 16th and 18th centuries. It even accommodated - for at least one night - King Henri IV in the turbulent year of 1585. (The room that the king slept in is still called King's Room!). The woad museum displays a genuine woad drier and a woad mill....

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Plus Beaux Villages de France At around: 39.44 km

Brousse-le-Chateau Brousse-le-Chateau is a little village - population just under 200 - situated in the Aveyron department in southwest of France.
The village is a entirely deserving member of "Les Plus Beaux Villages de France" - "The Most Beautiful Village of France" association.
Located on a rocky spur between the Tarn and Alrance River valleys the castle of Brousse dates from the 10th century, when it was a small military fortification belonging to the Counts of Rouergue.
Following the power rise of its lords, the counts of Rouergue and then the d'Arpajon family, the castle grew in size to occupy at the end of the 15th century the whole 150 meters long hilltop - time when was built the protection surrounding wall.
During the...

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Mysterious At around: 40.63 km

Castela Underground Galleries of Saint Sulpice Situated exactly halfway on the road between Toulouse and Albi, Saint Sulpice is one of the first off built "bastide albigeoises".
A bastide is a town built in the late Middle Ages after a new, at the time, urban plan with a central square and houses surrounding it. There were between 300 and 500 bastides built in the southwest of France between 1222 and 1373.
Saint Sulpice was founded towards 1240 by Sicard Alaman a liegeman of Count Raymond VII of Toulouse.
On a knoll overlooking the l'Agout River, inside the bastide, Alaman erected a fortified castle equipped with living quarters for him and his family, his officers and the town's bailiff, armories, a watching tower and a chapel.
The castle was...

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