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“"Lord of the Rings" fortress or a place of worship?”

Cathedrale Sainte-Cecile
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Self-Guided City Tour from Toulouse to Albi and Cordes-sur-Ciel
Ranked #1 of 36 things to do in Albi
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Silicon Valley
Level 6 Contributor
364 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 168 helpful votes
“"Lord of the Rings" fortress or a place of worship?”
Reviewed November 29, 2013

This is a most amazing cathedral, unlike most anything else you have ever seen. From the outside it appears as a fortress, from the inside it is truly a place of worship and magnificent art. Plan on at least 1 hour.

Visited November 2013
Thank Patrick S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Asheville, NC
Level 6 Contributor
413 reviews
196 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 293 helpful votes
“This is the reason you come to Albi”
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
Thank OtherMountainDude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
106 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Nice visit”
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
Thank travelingal555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albi, France
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
“Building this boggles the mind”
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
Thank Sarah C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pereira, Colombia
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“see the ultimate art of detail”
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
Thank jorn l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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