We visited the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum in Albi. The museum is housed in the former Berbie Palace, across from the cathedral. This was once the home of the bishops. Today the palace is a museum with over 1000 works of art, featuring works not only from Henri Toulouse-Lautrec but also from other well known French artists.
A bit of a funny story related to our museum visit. The man at the counter saw the four of us and asked if we wanted a family ticket for the two adults and two kids. He specifically asked Christine if I was her older daughter. Without missing a beat, she said I was (suddenly I was classified as a teenager over 14!). Then the man said that normally this ticket was for a family with Mom, Dad and two kids. She told him we had Grandma with us because the Dad was no longer there. As she went to pay, she realized she needed the PIN number for the credit card (Maud's Dad's card) so she told Maud to call her Dad (who just moments before no longer existed) and get the pin! Long story short, I got in on a child's rate and the museum was excellent!
After visiting the inside of the museum, we walked along the walls of the Berbie Palace, seeing it's impressive gardens and the Tarn river below.
(just a side note, the Tarn river flows westward, eventually merging with the Garbonne, and then the two flow together into the Atlantic)
Like most European towns, Albi had a central square, the square had a fountain that shot up water in a pattern, like music. The day was overcast and not very warm, but I could imagine that during hot summer days, this is probably a favorite place for small children to play.
In Albi, I saw similar red brick as I saw in Toulouse, but the house design was different. The windows were not as long as they had been in Toulouse. Also Albi sustained less damage in the war than Toulouse, so there were more older buildings. Some of the buildings were up to 800 years old.
We walked through an old monastery and saw the lovely garden within it's walls. The plants smelled so wonderful - herbs and flowers, a lovely mix.
The cathedral was approximately 800 years old. The outside and inside were quite ornate. Those of you who read my post about Glasgow may recall the explanation that blue paint was a sign of wealth as it was the hardest to make and thus the most expensive. Well a sign in the town of Albi provided a connection to that story. Albi (and this region of France) was where the blue flowers grew that were used to make the blue color of paint and dyes. These were sold at high costs (to cities such as Glasgow). Also to show its own prosperity, the inside of the cathedral in Albi is painted blue. It was just magnificent, I loved the color and presentation within the cathedral.
I really enjoyed Albi and it would be a place to which I would gladly return.
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