Albi, FranceWe truly enjoyed our visit to beautiful Albi last year.

This medieval town, 77 kilometers northeast of Toulouse, is well worth a visit on your trip to southern France.

There are two highlights to the town – the thirteenth century St. Cécile – the largest brick cathedral in the world. This imposing fortress was built to symbolize the strength of the Catholic church after the defeat of the Cathars. See my previous post about the cathedral .

Albi, FranceThe other headliner in town is the impressive museum dedictade to Albi’s native son, the Belle Epoque artist Henri Toulouse-Lautrec.

The not-to-be-missed museum is housed in the spectacular thirteenth century Palais de la Berbie, and maintains an impressive collection of Toulouse-Lautrec’s work- See my earlier post.

Albi, FranceThe parapets and walkways of the garden, with their excellent view over the Tarn, is well worth a wander.

But the entire town is a gem. The medieval architecture has largely been restored. the 11th century bridge is impressive. It was built in stone in 1035, then covered with bricks. And it’s still standing strong after almost 1000 years.

Albi is a great place to wander and enjoy the medieval atmosphere. We ate well at one of the many restaurants across from the Palais de la Berbie.

Albi, FranceWhat mom is going to argue when the kids’ menu features coq au vin? My kids were thrilled with this new discovery. Beats American kids’ menus any day.

We’ll have to get back sometime in the summer, when Albi hosts impressive jazz, theatre, and classical music festivals. But we were pleased to enjoy the town with the thin tourist crowds of December.

Don’t miss out on medieval Albi when your travels take you to beautiful Languedoc.