Albi Cathedral – Albi, France - Atlas Obscura

Albi Cathedral

Albi, France

A medieval church with largest and oldest collection of Renaissance frescoes in France. 


In addition to its impressive size and Southern French Gothic style, this medieval cathedral contains the largest and oldest collection of Renaissance frescoes in all of France. They cover nearly 200,000 square feet, and depict religious and historical scenes, as well as geometric optical illusions. 

First completed in about the 4th century, the Albi cathedral didn’t last long. The original cathedral was burnt down in 666, an ironic year given its holy purpose.

A second version was built around 920, and then its final replacement began construction in the 13th century. After 200 years, it was finally completed, and remains one of the most impressive and large brick buildings in the world. 

The church also house some religious relics, claiming to be the body parts of the Saint Cecelia to whom the cathedral is dedicated. 

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