Albi Cathedral – The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia in Albi

The most important Catholic building in Albi, France and is the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Albi. First built as a fortress in the aftermath of the Albigensian Crusade; begun in 1282 and under construction for 200 years, it is claimed to be the largest brick building in the world.

The cathedral is built in the Southern French Gothic style. The structure is built almost entirely of brick. Notable architectural features include the bell-tower, added in, which stands 78 meters tall, and the doorway by Dominique de Florence. The interior lacks aisles which are replaced by rows of small chapels between brick internal buttresses, making Albi a hall church.

The present cathedral was preceded by other buildings. The first dated from the fourth century and in about 665 – 667 was destroyed by fire. The second is recorded in 920 by the name of Saint Cecilia, the present-day patroness of musicians. It was replaced in the thirteenth century by a Gothic cathedral in stone.The Southern French Gothic cathedral was constructed in brick between 1282 and 1480.

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