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The development of the town

Cité épiscopale d’Albi

The Pont-vieux associates harmoniously with the river Tarn, the houses on its banks and the Episcopal city to create an exceptional urban panorama.

Its narrowness and its mediaeval allure attest to its age. It has played an essential role in the development of Albi and the elements of which it is composed bear witness to the evolution of the traffic it has carried through the ages.

It very quickly had an impact on the growth of the town and as early as 1150 it had been instrumental in the growth of a new district of the town called ’lo cap del pont’ at its northern end, now named le Bout-du-Pont (the end of the bridge).

Being the only bridge over the Tarn it was possible to impose a toll. The bridge also played an important strategic role and was defended at its centre point by a fortified gate.

In the 19th century urban renewal projects were once again undertaken: the Pont-vieux was enlarged and navigation on the Tarn was improved.

The end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th were marked by an economic renewal due to the glass and hat industries and the coal mining at nearby Carmaux.

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