Dating back to the 13th century, the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia (aka the Albi Cathedral, was built after the Church vanquished the Cathars, whose desire to make a new church was considered heretical. It's filled with interior frescos and houses the Great Moucherel Organ, one of the most beautiful organs in France.
The Albi Cathedral is made from clay brick instead of stone—giving it a pinkish hue—and it’s also one of the largest brick cathedrals in the world. One of the most noticeable features is the bell tower, which looks more like a fortress than a typical decorative spire. The same property also houses the Berbie Palace—a former bishop’s palace that’s now home to the Toulouse-Latrec Museum. The cathedral is a popular stop on tours from Carcassonne or Toulouse, and is often combined with Cordes-sur-Ciel.
Things to know before you go
- Albi Cathedral is a must-visit for those interested in medieval history.
- A wheelchair-accessible entrance is available in the back of the cathedral.
- Audio guides are included in ticket prices.
- Children under 12 can visit for free. *Albi City Pass holders get fast-tracked admission.
How to get there
The cathedral is located in the town Albi in Southern France, about a 10-minute walk from the local railway station. Cordes-sur-Ciel is roughly 30 minutes away if there isn’t much traffic. Toulouse takes about 60 minutes to reach by car or train, while Carcassonne is 1-hour and 45 minutes away.
When to get there
The cathedral is typically open to visitors on a daily basis. Opening hours may be limited on Sundays during mass, but you can usually visit either before or after mass. Visitors can also attend mass, though it’s not permitted to take photos during this time. Free organ concerts are sometimes held during the summer months.
If you're visiting Albi as part of a guided tour, chances are you'll also hit up Cordes-sur-Ciel, a fortified hilltop town that dates to 1222. Along with beautiful old buildings and fortifications, Cordes is home to an open-air market and a museum featuring art made entirely of sugar.
- Things to do in Midi-Pyrénées
- Things to do in Montpellier
- Things to do in Bordeaux
- Things to do in Girona
- Things to do in Nîmes
- Things to do in Barcelona
- Things to do in Arles
- Things to do in Avignon
- Things to do in Tarragona
- Things to do in San Sebastian
- Things to do in Zaragoza
- Things to do in Marseille
- Things to do in Aix-en-Provence
- Things to do in Languedoc-Roussillon
- Things to do in Aquitaine
- Toulouse-Lautrec Museum (Musée Toulouse-Lautrec)
- Black Mountains (Montagne Noire)
- Space City (Cite de l'Espace)
- Toulouse Cathedral (Cathedrale St-Etienne)
- St. Sernin Basilica (Basilique Saint-Sernin)
- Museum of Augustins (Musée des Augustins)
- Place du Capitole
- Basilica of Our Lady of the Daurade (Notre-Dame de la Daurade)
- Garonne River
- Pont Neuf
- Les Abattoirs Museum
- Lastours Castles (Châteaux de Lastours)
- Fronton Wine Region