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Albi is the most interesting small town in the Midi-Pyrenees region. St. Cecilia’s Cathedral is a remarkable building. On the outside, it looks like a giant medieval grain silo, but inside the walls, it is one of the finest late Gothic buildings in France. Of particular interest are the large murals that decorate the entire western wall of the cathedral.
It is the only large Gothic cathedral built of brick rather than stone – brick is the traditional building material in the Albi area as in nearby Toulouse.
Next to the cathedral stands the correspondingly massive and fortified episcopal palace, part of which now houses the Museum Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec who was the great post-impressionist iconographer of Parisian life in the late nineteenth century; he was a native of Albi, and the museum has the largest collection of his works along with a representative collection of French art from the late 19th century.
Next to the west end of the cathedral, a pedestrian street leads you to a vantage point overlooking the river Tarn below and the old bishop’s gardens. From the cathedral you can see the old bridge, which is a thousand years old and is still in use today. The old town of Albi with its narrow pedestrian streets and historic buildings surrounds the cathedral.
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In the following section you can find more local information about the city.
15 rue Rivals
31685 Toulouse Cedex 6
T: +33 05 61 13 55 55
www: website link
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