SATURDAY 2 JULY 2016
The classification by UNESCO of the Episcopal City of Albi on the prestigious World Heritage List on 31 July 2010 marked the recognition of the outstanding value of Albi’s heritage.
The Episcopal City of Albi is an urban complex made of brick that is unequalled in colour, strength and harmony. It includes a monumental ensemble of incomparable quality surrounded by four districts of medieval origin and protected by one of the oldest safeguarded zones in France. Strolling through it is walking into history, the golden age of the city, with its thirteenth-century brick buildings, half-timbered houses, inner courtyards, and terraced gardens… The age of pastel, a dye plant whose flourishing trade in the sixteenth century gave birth to magnificent mansions.
A masterpiece of Southern Gothic style, with its profoundly original, rigorous and austere architecture, Sainte-Cécile Cathedral serves as a showcase for another gem, its sumptuous interior. The impressive painting of the frescoes on the vaulted ceiling (1509-1512) provides an admirable view of the largest series of paintings in France, directly above the Last Judgment (1474-1484), recognized as the greatest in the world. The cathedral includes a sculptural masterpiece around the rood screen and choir cloister, of lacelike carved stone (1477-1484) consisting of a prodigious polychrome work of statuary art. Finally, the largest classical organ in France (eighteenth century) will be admired by connoisseurs.
Berbie Palace is one of the oldest bishop’s residences in France, and is classified both as a historic monument and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A veritable fortress designed to protect episcopal power, the palace symbolizes the omnipotence of the bishopric. This is underlined by its unique military architecture and by the height and thickness of its brick walls. Now serving as a sumptuous showcase for the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, this magnificent palace is representative of both the Medieval and Renaissance periods. Listed as a remarkable garden by the Ministry of Culture, the classical gardens with two overhanging terraces provide an outstanding panoramic view of the river Tarn.
We also invite you to visit the old city!
The cost for the excurson includes transport by bus, visits to the cathedral, Berbie Palace and the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum. It does not include lunch, which can be purchased in Albi at one of the many restaurants.