Goya By the River
"Why Visit Castres?"
Roughly halfway between Carcassonne and Albi (about 30 miles) Castres (pop. 43.1K) struck us as a fine day trip stop. We wee interested in seeing the Goya Museum there, which is said to have the largest holdings of Spanish paintings in France after the Louvre. We had not been to Spain in a decade and the museum also had 4 series of his etchings, some executed as acqua-tints, and all late works (from 1799 onwards) when he had become quirky. We had never seen them before and the number and content were overwhelming! We picked up a picnic lunch at the weekly market and ate in the Le Notre gardens of the Bishop's Palace which houses the museum (which is closed from 12-2PM). The Hotel de Ville is there too and the complex overlooks the fast-running Agout river. (We did not take a river cruise). After seeing the church (an ex-cathedral) we went on to Albi.