These districts are witness to 20 centuries of history: gallo-roman potters fired their pots here, close to the sanctuary that Albi’s people would later build in the honour of Saint Salvi; through these streets, which have often kept their mediaeval aspect, passed Saint Bernard, Simon de Montfort and the Bishops, turned Lords of Albi after the Albigensian Crusade.
Richelieu and Molière passed here with their cortèges, as well as those extravagant Bishops, Daillon de Lude, Choiseul, Bernis...
Closer to our times Albi’s two most illustrious sons walked these streets, the navigator Lapérouse (1741-1788) and the painter Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) as well as two adopted sons of Albi, Jean Jaurès (1859-1914) and Georges Pompidou (1911-1974).
The writer and academic Pierre Benoît (1886-1962), also from Albi, had this to say about the town:
“Being born in Albi, having been baptised in the most extraordinary sanctuary in the world, here is a noble rank upon which I must not pride myself as I owe it only to chance, and yet I hold it as dearly as though it were the outcome of the wisest forethought...”