This post is part of a weekly feature called Discovery of the Week. By discovery, I mean a place, a custom or dish that is not widely known. See, I love to read travel magazines, websites and books. Very often, I find beautiful and interesting gems that not a lot of people seem to know about. That is why I thought about introducing this feature because I am sure it will expose a lot of astonishing places. Additionally, I enjoy learning about the many amazing places in the world. I believe my readers also enjoy this activity.
Discovery of the Week: Albi
Where it is located: Southern France, on the banks of the River Tarn
What it is: An old city reflecting medieval architecture. It was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2010.
During Roman times, Albi was a modest settlement (archeological digs demonstrate this). Around 1040, Albi started to expand. The Old Bridge over the River Tarn was constructed. The city grew rich due to commerce and taxes charged to foreigners wanting to cross the bridge.
The city started to take an interesting place in history around 1208. A group of people called Cathars, started to take refuge in the city. This group developed their own version of Christianity. The Pope and the King of France, feeling threaten by this new sect, joined forces to combat the Cathars. The Albigensian Crusade punished severely those who were opposing the Catholic Church. The area was even annexed to France after the conflict.
After the upheaval, the Palais de la Berbie, a Bishops’ Palace, and the Cathedral of Sainte-Cécile were built. Those two buildings are still standing today and are must see sights for any visitor.
The city is also famous for being the hometown of the famous painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The Palais de la Berbie has been converted to a museum showcasing 1,000 works of the painter.
It is interesting to notice that Palo Alto, CA is twin town of Albi.
Did you know about Albi? Let me know in the comments section below.
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