Albi is perhaps best known for its pink brick Cathedral, the Toulouse Lautrec museum and the birthplace of the Albigensian Crusades which led to the Cathar heresy and battles.
The city is also now recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site:
On the banks of the Tarn river in south-west France, the old city of Albi reflects the culmination of a medieval architectural and urban ensemble. Today the Old Bridge (Pont-Vieux), the Saint-Salvi quarter and its church are testimony to its initial development (10th -11th centuries). Following the Albigensian Crusade against the Cathar heretics (13th century) it became a powerful episcopal city. Built in a unique southern French Gothic style from local brick in characteristic red and orange colours, the lofty fortified Cathedral (late 13th century) dominates the city, demonstrating the power regained by the Roman Catholic clergy. Alongside the Cathedral is the vast bishop’s Palais de la Berbie, overlooking the river and surrounded by residential quarters that date back to the Middle Ages. The Episcopal City of Albi forms a coherent and homogeneous ensemble of monuments and quarters that has remained largely unchanged over the centuries.
Albi is also known for being the birthplace of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864), and there is a museum of his work in Albi – Musée Toulouse-Lautrec
However for a week in February/March the town goes into Carnival mode with Carnival Queens, Parades, floats, music etc to jollify the streets of the town.
For more info on the Albi Carnaval see www.carnaval-albi.com
For more info on Albi see www.albi-tourisme.fr
I have stayed at the Mercure Bastides Hotel in Albi is centrally situated by the River Tarn with great views of the Cathedral.
For more info on this Albi hotel see Mercure Bastides Hotel
There is also a new small boutique hotel in the city centre which looks appealing and has been getting good reviews: Hotel Alchimy in Albi.
Whilst in the area you can visit the vineyards of Gaillac AC. I can recommend the Domaine de Labarthe at Castanet which produces some very good Gaillac reds, dry and sweet whites. Sparkling and Gaillac Perlé ( a lightly petillant dry white).