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“Massive!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cathedrale Ste-Cecile

Cathedrale Ste-Cecile
Near place du Vigan | in the medieval center of town, Albi, France
05-63-43-23-43
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Attraction details
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
26 attraction reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Massive!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

The Cathedral dominates the whole town, it is absolutely huge. We took a while to walk around inside as there is so much to see. I loved the details and the blue ceiling in the ambulatory. Well wrth a visit.

Visited August 2013
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Galway
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Go and see it!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

Amazing red brick cathedral, with phenomenal decoration on the inside - some frescos untouched since the 15th century. The bishop's palace next door is as imposing but is now the Toulouse-Lautrec museum and worth a visit.

Visited August 2013
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Cathedral,both impressive and oppressive”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

dominates the town with powerful exterior,interior oppressive, dark and somewhat frightening,showing the wealth and extravagance of catholicism during this period.

Visited June 2013
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Sydney, Australia
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1,703 reviews 1,703 reviews
1,150 attraction reviews
Reviews in 824 cities Reviews in 824 cities
1,787 helpful votes 1,787 helpful votes
“The power of religion.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

This place oozes power. Its a massive fortified edifice,imposing exterior and stunning interior. Outside the gargoyles look down menacingly over the gothic facade. Come through the fancy entry porch and head into the cathedral to be amazed by the enormous and biggest 'Last judgment' painting from the middle ages. check out the Choir screen...a fancy ,more intimate room which enclosed the alter.. In those days the regals and clergy were seperated from the rabble.
Fabulous angels,carvings and paintings. Gosh the church was powerful.

Visited September 2012
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Albi, France
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Very basic interpretation but overpowering structure”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

Albi sits in a geological depression and is very much a low rise environment so the Cathedral is visible from miles away. The guides rightly stress its superlatives - biggest brick cathedral in the world, biggest altar screen etc, etc. It was built after the mass slaughters of the crusade against the Cathars and certainly gets across its triumphalist Catholic message - We are big, powerful and here to stay. The scènes of the tortures of hell painted on the screen merit an X rating and reinforce the threatenng nature of the structure. All of this makes it worth seeing but, as is typical of French historic attractions, the background story is essentially ingored with what little information there is based on the usual statements of who built what bit when and how big it is.

Basically, if you haven't already read up on the Cathars and the aftermath of the crusade against them, it is all a bit of a bore. To me, the most impressive bits, after the "WOW What a Building!" reaction are the walks in the adjoining cathedral precinct with its gardens and view of old Albi and the Tarn bridges followed by a bit of shade in the St Sernin cloisters across the plaza.

The Tourism Office next door is largely a waste of space and could be used more effetively as a low key interpretation centre to put the whole complex and its hixtory into some form of intelligible context without detracting from the structures themselves. Wasted opportunity, really, but still very much worth a visit if your are in the area.

Visited July 2013
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