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“This is the reason you come to Albi” 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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Private Tour
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Private Tour: Albi Sightseeing and Gaillac Wine...
Ranked #1 of 20 things to do in Albi
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Asheville, NC
Top Contributor
315 reviews 315 reviews
141 attraction reviews
Reviews in 106 cities Reviews in 106 cities
257 helpful votes 257 helpful votes
“This is the reason you come to Albi”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2013

By the time you work your way to Albi, you've probably seen a half dozen cathedrals. They may all be running together in your mind. But, believe me, this one will stand out, and it makes the trip to Albi worthwhile. Ste. Cecile differs significantly in its architectural details, and you can spot the distinctions as soon as you walk up. Your first clue is that it's made all of brick. It also differs for the reason it was built. Many cathedrals were built out of the medieval version of community pride. This one was built as a statement of raw political and military power -- the final punctuation point on the Cathar crusades of the 1200s.

Every square inch (or centimeter, if you prefer) of the church interior is covered with artwork. A unique feature is the completely preserved rood screen and its intricate carving. How did this thing escape the revolution and church modernization?

Touring the church is easy. You can do it on your own, of course, but we recommend you take advantage of the excellent audio guide, especially for the area on the sides and behind the original choir. We found the staff at the cathedral to be very friendly and helpful with suggestions on how to order our visit to make sure we got it all done.

If you're staying in the central city, just walk to the cathedral. Historic Albi is a pleasant place for walking, and with the major investments being made in expanding their pedestrian zone, it will be even more pleasant next year. Parking is available. There is one public lot that's called Cathedrale, but it isn't right beside the church. It's about a five to ten minute walk. Seeing the church combines very well with a visit to the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum (which is right beside it). See the cathedral in the morning. Have lunch at one of the many cafes on the Cathedral Square. Then tour the art museum in the afternoon.

Visited October 2013
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Hopkinsville
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74 reviews 74 reviews
38 attraction reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Nice visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2013

This beautiful Cathedrale Ste-Cecile is a beautiful site. The main focus of a town square which has shops and eateries. We ate lunch across the square and truly enjoyed the view of the cathedrale as we ate. A little wine a great place to be. Loved Albi! This is a lovely cathedrale inside and out.

Visited June 2013
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Albi, France
2 reviews
“Building this boggles the mind”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

The shere magnitude of this cathedral, combined with the complexity and intricately if the stone work, will take your breath away even if you are not religious. Do not miss the gardens, especially if you like french formal and boxwood. They outshine sime of the Loire chateaux.

Visited November 2013
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Sao Paulo, SP
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
40 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“see the ultimate art of detail”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

it is a must go and a place of both reflection and worship. the largest brick building in the world and an absolutely gorgeous atmosphere og history and tradition

Visited November 2012
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Brooklyn, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Fabulous town, cathedral, and ducal palace”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2013

This cathedral is not only huge, but fabulous! It's built like a fortress, impressive, not ornate, but certainly austere, with a lacy gothic portal that contrasts beautifully with its stark exterior. How anyone could call it dull is beyond me -- exciting is more apt! The elaborately frescoed and brilliantly colored interior with its rood screen and stained glass windows all combine to make a staggering interior that contrasts with the stark exterior. One can easily spend an hour inside. The view from the cathedral toward the river is wonderful too. The town itself is charming, with half-timbered houses and winding streets brimming with life. The ducal palace adjacent to the cathedral houses a museum dedicated almost entirely to Toulouse-Lautrec, who was born in Albi. It contains 1,000 of his works. It's so amazing to see so much of his work at one time -- really gives one a new appreciation of the scope of it. Another great thing about Albi is that it's not very touristy.

Visited August 2013
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