A town whith a rich history
Presque chaque maison de la vieille ville à abrité un personnage, une histoire...
Nearly each house of the old city to sheltered a character, a history... Il faut flâner dans les rues pavées, un bon guide à la main, et remonter le temps.
It is necessary to stroll in the paved streets, a good guide to the hand, and to carry up the time.
Flamboyant Gothic art
In the low sides of the cathedral, the small chapels are dedicated to universal or local saints, but most of them are “modern”, have baroque or kitsch decoration which are interesting to look at passing by, but I wanted to visit the famous choir hidden behind the jube.
Jubes were quite common in the past in the big churches, but most of them have been removed with “democracy” and modern church design.
Bricks are not suited for the fine intricate gothic architecture or carvings; the white stone used in Ste Cecile is just a beautiful contrast to the brick we have seen outside.
The jube is a wonderful example of flamboyant gothic carving and statuary; on the first picture is Ste Cecile standing between two very richly carved and decorated arches; many other painted statues decorate this wall of the jube.
The chapel hosting the altar in the choir (Picture 2) is just something like gothic art quintessence; you can stand in front and look at all details for long minutes, and realize also the general balance of the architecture and decoration; again, I do not like to use superlatives, but, it is really a wonderful sight, in the quietude of the great cathedral.
The choir, hidden by the jube was in fact the place where the “important” people were attending the masses, and where the priest had their meetings. In the “meeting room” are these benches on two sides, with many angel statues above (picture 3) , but the Napoleonian eagle really spoils the place; and this modern Christ would be more moving in another place probably (picture 4).
The well dressed little angels feel well in the walls of the jube, and even smile at the visitors (picture 5). . . .
If you come to visit Albi with a car, you will need to find a parking place, and I can recommend this one, as it is close to the old city centre and, getting out of the car you will discover the first interesting vistas and perspectives. . . Here, arches, straight lines, bricks. . . .
On the first picture is the belfry, a bit modest this time, beneath an arch of the railway bridge; on the second picture, from the parking area, you see in the foreground the railway bridge and in background the rue du Castelviel bridge which reaches the area north of the cathedral; I recommend to walk down a bit and walk up along the arcades de Bondidou located just right of the picture; there (picture 3), you have now arches in three directions, and you see the street you will walk up to the old city. You still can have a look at the belfry (picture 4), and when you will walk up the small street, you will not loose its view, and you still will walk in a red brick ambiance, but the arches now are vegetal (picture 5). . . . .