The episcopal city of Albi is representative of this type of urban development in Europe between the Middle Ages and the modern era. Its well-preserved monuments and urban features are complementary, the use of local fired brick giving them their subtle shades of colour and distinctive appearance. It bears witness to a simultaneously defensive and spiritual programme set up by the Roman Christian bishops following the suppression of Albigensian or Cathar heresy in the 13th century. The Cathedral of Sainte-Cécile is the most remarkable symbol of this period; its Gothic style is unique to the south of France and the interior painted ornamentation, choir and late-Gothic statuary were added in the 15th and 16th centuries. Finally, the outstanding value of the city also lies in its mediaeval urban landscape which is both well-preserved and highly authentic.
Criterion (iv):The mediaeval architecture and urban design of the historic city of Albi are outstanding. The town presents a homogeneous appearance with a high quality of urban landscape and strong visual coherence due to the systematic and continuous use of local fired brick. The Cathedral of Sainte-Cécile is an outstanding example of the adaptation of the Gothic style of architecture and ornamentation to the context of the south of France.
Criterion (v):The urban site of Albi developed gradually over the centuries, particularly from the Middle Ages onwards. The events of the Albigensian crusade transformed it into an emblematic episcopal city, organized around the cathedral and fortified episcopal palace. It is one of the most complete and best-preserved examples of this type of city. It provides a complete illustration of a type of urban settlement typical of mediaeval and Renaissance Europe.