Albi Things to Do

  • huge!
    huge!
    by iaint
  • seen from north bank
    seen from north bank
    by iaint
  • view from south bank
    view from south bank
    by iaint

Most Recent Things to Do in Albi

  • CDM7's Profile Photo

    A Unique Cathedral Built Of Brick.

    by CDM7 Updated Sep 7, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Saint - Cecile is the largest brick built cathedral in the world taking 200 years to complete,opening in 1480.The massive bell tower is 78 meters high and the cathedral 113 meters long by 35 meters wide.

    Open : June - Oct. daily from 8.30 am - 6.45 pm
    Nov. - May daily from 9 am - Noon and 2 pm - 6.30 pm

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • CDM7's Profile Photo

    Pont Viex - Take a Look At This Great Bridge

    by CDM7 Written Sep 6, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    While in the city of Albi take the short walk down the hill to the mediaeval bridge - Pont Viex.
    Built around 1040 for the good of the town and its residents.It was formerly a toll bridge,the crossing had a fortified gate tower,a chapel in the centre,and a drawbridge at the far end near the right bank.
    From the 14th - 18th centuries the bridge contained houses,but these were demolished after a massive flood in 1766.In 1820,its roadway was renovated to take advantage of the new modes of transport which were made possible by the industrial revolution.Now one of the oldest bridges in France still in use today.

    Views of Pont Viex
    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • iaint's Profile Photo

    Cathedral

    by iaint Written Apr 27, 2014

    The cathedral dominates the town. It took 200 years to build, starting in 1287. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010.

    It is one of the two main reasons to visit the town

    Check opening times before you go. It was about to close for lunch as I was going around. Remember - this is SW France. Lunch is important.

    huge! inside inside again entrance
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • iaint's Profile Photo

    Musée de Toulouse-Lautrec

    by iaint Updated Apr 2, 2014

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The artist's museum is house in the impressive Palais de la Berbie. It was one of the main attractions for me in visiting Albi.
    The gardens of the palace are very alluring. I decided to have a look around the gardens before going inside as it was sunny when I got there. Lovely, and great views of the river, the Pont Vieux and La Madeleine.
    The bad news - I finished with the gardens about 11:45 and then discovered that the museum closes between 12 and 2!
    End result was I haven't been inside! I wasn't able to hang around for 2 hours, see the museum and then head back to Toulouse.
    Work...
    Anyway, be warned. Check the opening times before you go.

    a glimpse entrance courtyard from gardens exterior gardens
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • iaint's Profile Photo

    Pont Vieux

    by iaint Updated Apr 2, 2014

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is one of the bridges over the Tarn, and is a great place to get good views of the cathedral and museum.
    It is also a good place for a quiet picnic - that's where I went with my sandwich.
    It dates from 1040, and is one of the oldest bridges in France which is still in use.
    Walking there and back from the cathedral (for example) will take you through a charming part of the medieval quarter.

    view from south bank seen from north bank looking east looking west hydro electricty
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Cathédrale Sainte Cécile-Albi

    by gwened Updated Nov 3, 2013

    a wonderful example of southwest architecture in pink reddish brick construction, a marvel to see inside. A must to see.

    The first stone was put here in 1282AD to built an example of Christian faith to counter the Catharism in the region. It was consacrated in 1480AD. In 1509, they call the Italian painters for the interior decoration

    description in French from the Catholic diocese of Albi on the vaults of the Cathedral,
    http://catholique-tarn.cef.fr/spip.php?rubrique111
    the tourist office take on the cathedral
    http://www.albi-tourisme.fr/us/discover/world-heritage-unesco/sainte-cecile-cathedral.html

    A bit of history of the Cathedral,
    The Cathedral is preceded by several buildings. The first is dated to the 4th century and was destroyed by fire in 666. A second appears in the texts in 920 under the name of Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians. In the 13th century, this building disappears in favor of a Romanesque cathedral in stone. The municipal park of Rochegude has some remnants of the arcades of his cloister.

    During the 13th century, the Suppression of Catharism, first military (the Albigensian crusade) and clerical (Inquisition) eliminated the heresy of Languedocian land, at the time where the County of Toulouse is joined to the royal domain. In this particular context, Bernard III of Castanet was named Bishop of Albi in 1276. He, then decided in 1277, to rebuild a cathedral, symbol of the power of the Roman Catholic Church and the papacy. The first brick is laid in 1282; for two centuries, the site will host the city with the extraction of clay from the Tarn, making the bricks and the construction of the building. The end of the construction is celebrated by the consecration of the choir in 1480.

    Late 15th century, the Cathedral was already receiving several additions. The Bell Tower is adorned with three floors and exceeds the mass of brick, which was not originally foreseen in the plans. A rood screen stone breaks the uniformity of brick and unit volume of the nave. Finally in 1509, Italian painters realize frescoes can still be seen today without having undergone restauration.

    On 9 may 1792, Jean - Joachim Gausserand, constitutional Bishop from 1791 to 1801, demanded the demolition of the closing of the choir and the rood screen of the Cathedral. The Executive Board of the Department of the Tarn had decided its destruction. Moved by this decision, an engineer and local architect, Jean-François Mariès, wrote a letter on November 5, 1792, to the Minister of the Interior to stop this action.

    The Minister intervened to stop destruction projects. Cathedral is a classification in respect of historical monuments by the list of 1862. In 1843, during the restoration of the roof, a few turrets and a round path are added, enhancing the walls of 7 metres, strengthening the defensive aspect of the work. In 1988, a couple of peregrine falcons is elected domicile. He enjoyed a nest added to its use in 2001 and since 2008, birdwatchers can study the rearing of his offspring by using two cameras.

    WONDERFUL

    the front parvis to Cathedral of St Cecile last judgement chapel inside Cathedral Cathedral Sainte Cecile from Blvd Gen Sibille interior main nave of Cathedral the gardens from back towers and the Tarn river
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Palais de la Berbie and Toulouse-Lautrec,Albi

    by gwened Updated Dec 5, 2012

    a famous palace of brick red of the region architecture style and a beautiful rendition to one of the worlds best colorful and great artist Toulouse-Lautrec
    not to be missed, much written on it, take from one who has family nearby, go see it.
    the link info is in English too

    also from the heritage site of the episcopal parrish here is more in English
    http://www.cite-episcopale-albi.fr/decouvrir/palais-de-la-berbie/?lang=en

    The museum of Toulouse-Lautrec has been renovated, housing all the great artists work of art.

    parvis next to cathedral arriv palais de la berbie palais de la Berbie and Toulouse-Lautrec palais de la barbie museum entrance the gardens of palais de la berbie the tour from inside the museum
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • alectrevor's Profile Photo

    Cathedral of Albi.

    by alectrevor Updated Sep 17, 2012

    Albi cathedral formally the cathedral of saint Cecilia is the seat of the Archbishop of Albi. It was first built as a fortress in 1287, built in brick it claims to be the largest brick built building in the world. In 2010 the cathedral became a world hertage site. The inside is stunning to see.

    Worlds biggest brick building. Steps wayin. Interior Marvellous 3d effect.

    Was this review helpful?

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    Musée Toulouse Lautrec

    by kokoryko Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    “Aaaah, what a daubing!” exclaimed a woman next to me when discovering a Kandinsky in a museum in . . . . . Well, Toulouse Lautrec who, by far, is not in my painter’s pantheon, can certainly not be considered as a dauber, and I have to admit his lithographic works are very expressive and precise, they really transmit a message, and even just a publicity for bike chains (first picture) is just more than publicity; and, . . imagine, Toulouse Lautrec was almost a cripple and he probably never biked. . . . . . but his particular drawing carries what has to be transmitted (like the muscle power via the chain. . . . ) with a very personal style made of very sober lines and special perspective compositions. Stop, I am not an art critic, I just write what some paints inspire me and keep heart, eyes and brain open, like when on high mountain trails or deeply immersed in popular districts of big cities . . . and certainly see a difference between a daubing and an artwork, even the latter is not the style I like the most. . . .
    The Toulouse Lautrec museum, hosting more than 1000 of his works is of course one of the most important places to visit in Albi, for the paints and also for the Palais de la Berbie and the gothic brick vaults of the rooms (picture 2). Some of Toulouse Lautrec’s major works are not here, but all the works displayed here give a comprehensive overview about this important artist.
    Don’t forget to look at the yard inside the fortress (not accessible when I visited) (picture 3)
    On the ground level, three main rooms are dedicated to three themes:
    Youth works and Toulouse Lautrec painted by his friends;
    Portraits
    Brothels
    Lithographs are exposed in a wide spacious room in the lower level (-1)
    Temporary exhibitions can be seen in (-2) level room.
    Ah! Normally, photographs are not allowed in the museum!
    Entrance : 5 Euros. Closed Tuesdays.

    Art and publicity Exhibition hall in the museum A look outside A portrait (English woman) Poster gallery
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • pigletsmom's Profile Photo

    Magnificent Cathedral

    by pigletsmom Updated Apr 4, 2011

    You must visit the extraordinary and massive Sainte-Cécile Cathedral. It dominates the Albi skyline like a bird hovering over it's nest. It is quite impressive and dominating, and very captivating. The interior is grand and ornate, but not heavy or busy. It is just plainly magnificent. Jaw dropping, must not be missed!

    Seen from the Musee Toulouse - Lautr
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • pigletsmom's Profile Photo

    Oh, the Beauty of it

    by pigletsmom Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Palais de la Berbie, is one of the most spectucular spots in all of Europe. I was just amazed at how lovely it is. The views and scenery, the architecture and sculputure, and of course the impeccable gardens. All together they are breathtaking. Very impressive and lovely and a testement to the weath and power of the the French Church during the middle ages. The palace/fortress was built in the 13th century as the home for the French bishops and other cleric leaders of Albi. It is one of the most completely restored fortresses in France today.

    The garden & view of the Palais de la Berbie
    Related to:
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Redang's Profile Photo

    Palais de la Berbie/Musée Toulouse-Lautrec

    by Redang Written May 3, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This Palace is even older than the Palais des Papes (Popes’ Palace) in Avignon. Former the Bishops' Palace of Albi, it houses now the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum and the Tourist Office.

    Its name comes from the Occitan word Bisbia, meaning Bishops' Palace.

    For the Musée Toulouse-Lautrec/Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, I didn't visit it, so, I can't give you an opinion, however, I leave here the address and how to conact.

    - Fax: (+33) (0)5 63 49 48 88

    Toulouse-Lautrec Museum (Albi, France)

    Was this review helpful?

  • Redang's Profile Photo

    Cathédrale de Sainte-Cécile (1/2)

    by Redang Updated May 3, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Some other buildings were on the site where this Cathedral was built. The first one, from the 4th century, was destroyed in 666. The next one, from 920, received the name of Saint Cécile, the patroness of musicians and was replaced in the 13th century by a Romanesque Cathedral.

    The Gothic Cathedral we can admire now, was built between 1.282 and 1.480. The bell tower, of 78 m. of height, was added in 1.492.

    The exterior resembles a fortress, nothing to do with... (see next tip).

    - Fax: (+33) (0) 5 63 43 23 44

    Cath��drale de Sainte-C��cile (Albi, France) Cath��drale de Sainte-C��cile (Albi, France) Cath��drale de Sainte-C��cile (Albi, France) Cath��drale de Sainte-C��cile (Albi, France) Cath��drale de Sainte-C��cile (Albi, France)

    Was this review helpful?

  • hquittner's Profile Photo

    Study the Art of Toulouse-Lautrec

    by hquittner Written Oct 11, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lautrec was a minor great painter, in part because he did not live very long and had an infirmity. He was primarily a sketcher with a strong lively line. He became interested in the new technic of color lithography which required him to develop a simpler "Japanese"-like style and qualifies him to be considered as an Art Nouveau artist. He was very diligent in this field and his simplifications were probably less painful and not inhibited by his increasing alcoholism. He made many preparative sketches for his major works and had a keen memory as well. He was a strong influence on the expansion of color lithography as a technic. He brought a new style to commercial art through his creation of a large poster style. (The museum shows all of his 32 posters and most of his lithographs).He did not do this type of work for need of money but rather to spread his recognition. As a painter, he was not innovative but abandoned the tenets of Impressionism as he matured. The museum has a large number of his paintings from late childhood up until the end of his life. His lively work and subject matter (which is never obscene) and the wide distribution of his lithographs and posters makes it likely that almost every museum contains his work, and assures his lasting popularity. Albi has over 600 works in all the media that he employed. It is rare that one can get such an immersion in a single artist. (Although we could not copy his work at the museum, we were able to find good examples of their holdings from a folio at home).

    Englishman At Moulin Rouge (lith 1892) Painting of His Mother (1886) MMe Poupoule at Her Toilet (1900; ptg) Poster Gin Cocktail (charcoal; 1888)
    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Arts and Culture
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • hquittner's Profile Photo

    Le Palais de la Berbie

    by hquittner Written Oct 11, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Museum Toulouse-Lautrec is housed in the Berbie Palace (the name a corruption of the local term for a Bishop). When Bernard de Castenet started the cathedral in 1265, he altered the plans for his palace already underway to participate in the fortress function, including a donjon and massive protective walls. In 1598 after the Edict of Nantes, such precautions were eliminated and the bishops undertook beautifications (in the 17 and 18C) including an impressive set of terrace gardens facing on the Tarn. These can be seen to best advantage as part of a museum tour. In 1922 with bequests from Lautrec's family and friends, the palace became a museum in his honor. Since they had preserved a large part of his paintings and sketches, and all of his lithographs and posters were readily available, it allows one to see the entire development of his style from childhood to his premature death, along with preparatory sketches and efforts, an unusual opportunity about a popular artist. There are also shown important personal biographical materials (See our General Tip). Be aware that photography is not permitted in the museum (but vistas outward are allowed). Beyond that some contemporary works and a few earlier ones are on view (Guardi, Bonnard, Dufy, Utrillo, etc). For years the museum had a deplorable viewing reputation but that is no longer true.

    The Entire Palace (from the Cathedral East) The Donjon Looks Down on the Museum Entrance A Gate-House The Main Garden By the River Different Garden Levels
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Seniors
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Albi

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

18 travelers online now

Comments

Albi Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Albi things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Albi sightseeing.

View all Albi hotels