The Tarn River
Cité épiscopale d’Albi
The Tarn runs through the entire territory of Albi. The verdant banks, regularly flooded, remain wild which lends to their charm. This natural habitat where the development of endemic vegetation is a priority consequently supports a thriving fauna.
The verdant banks of the Tarn, often flooded, conserve their wild character, contributing to their charm and providing a natural space which privileges the development of a balanced ecosystem of flora and fauna. The trees (alder, ash, maple) tolerate the regular flooding, impatiens and nettles attract butterflies, brambles have colonised certain verges, providing plentiful blackberries, bamboo, dogwood, elder, privet and viburnum all vie for space.
Used in navigation since ancient times the stretch of Tarn between Gaillac and Albi was rendered navigable via a system of locks constructed between 1820 and 1830.
Today two of these locks remain as well as the lock-house beside the Pont-vieux.
Nowadays it is possible to discover ancient mills, quays and disused sites bearing witness to the riverside activity and industries of old from the river aboard a gabarre (type of flat bottomed barge or boat). Between 1835 and 1865 up to 50,000 tonnes of coal were transported here from Carmaux using this type of boat.