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This week on Join Us in France, Elyse takes us to the beautiful city of Albi in Southwestern France. As residents of Toulouse, both Annie and Elyse have been to there many times to enjoy its provincial charm and gorgeous city center.
Albi and Toulouse-Lautrec
This is the home of world-famous artist Toulouse-Lautrec and one of the attractions we recommend you visit is the large museum dedicated to his work. This museum used to be a sleepy, old-fashioned place, but it was renovated making it a modern and pleasant institution. It won't take more than a couple of hours, but it is well-worth it.
The Sainte-Cécile Fortress Cathedral
Albi also has one of the most interesting fortress Cathedrals in France, which is said to be the biggest brick building in the world. This Cathedral came to be in an effort to impress on the local population the strength and power of the Catholic religion. You may have heard of the Albigensian Crusade? It took its name from this city. A fascinating story indeed!
UNESCO World Heritage
Because of the wealth of important historical events and its beauty, Albi is a World Heritage UNESCO site. Nothing says "south west of France" quite as loudly as this part of the country!
Off the Beaten Track
There are visitors in Albi, but it's nothing like another wonderful place in the south west, Carcassonne (listen to Albi and Toulouse-Lautrec, Episode 20) where visitors are sometimes shoulder to shoulder. When you go to Albi, you'll find a more peaceful experience, but with all the great food and wine that we've all come to love in the south west! And that red brick, it is so warm and lovely! You camera will thank you too!
Photo Credit: Benh LIEU SONG