Walled-in towns and Villages

Find their hidden treasures
 Walled-in towns and Villages
Delightful little jewels
Bertrand
People at the heart of the land
The adventure of the Tarn walled-in towns, initiated in the13th and 14th centuries, was born from the tragic intolerant fight against the Cathars, under the name "Croisade contre les Albigeois" and  witnessed the beginning of an era of trading prosperity in the Middle Ages. 
 
The Tarn or Albi walled-in towns testify of  planned urban strategies, adapting to steep relief, making use of it to build strongholds (those wer also itimes of insecurity).

They were also places of power and trading exchanges. 

With the often fortified walled-in towns like Cordes-sur-Ciel ou Castelnau de Montmiral, the landlord would provide inhabitants with safe places or  "without tax" new towns, thus offering its inhabitants some kind of social improvement. 

They were all designed along the same checkboard pattern.

At the heart of the medieval,city, the square was the crossroads of all the meetings, exchanges and trade. The streets all converged to its angles and  under the arcades underneath the houses bordering the square. 

The Cathars and the cathar heresy obviously encouraged the development of a number of walled-in towns: Cordes-sur-Ciel (1222), Castelnau-de-Montmiral (1222) and Lisle-sur-Tarn (1229-1230), under the protection of the comte de Toulouse, Raymond VII who was protecting the Cathars.

The catholic soldiers, the "croisés", did it with  Labastide-Monfort (which became Lévis).

At that time, the stronghold of Puycelsi was reinforced.

After the Crusade,, towns were rebuilt and as a result of the general economic growth, other walled-in towns were developed: Lisle-sur-Tarn (1229), Villefranche d’Albigeois built in 1239 by Philippe, Simon de Montfort's nephew, St Sulpice (1247), Labessiere-Candeil (1255), Florentin (1260), Réalmont, a royal walled-in town(1272), Briatexte (1290)…
 
That urban and architectural development spread across the whole of the South-West.

53 years after the end of the Croisade contre les Albigeois (1229), the Albi bishops started building the Cathedral of Albi. Power had shifted. 

Hidden treasures of history
At the very heart of this land of vineyards, the walled-in towns and high up villages have been the witnesses of an exciting past full of turmoil.
In the days of the Crusade against the Cathars, known as  the « Croisade contre les Albigeois » (13th century), walled-in towns and castelnaux (villages around a castle) were built , sometimes on deserted sites. The strong demographic and economic growth  prompted the Comtes de Toulouse to create new towns, all built along the same checkerboard pattern and protected by specific  tax charters. Life was organised around the central square and the market hall dedicated to public affairs and trade.
 
Charm  and  good living
Discover Lisle sur Tarn, Castelnau de Montmiral, Rabastens, Puycelsi… travel back in time climbing up the steep lanes, back to  the hustle and bustle of the wine, corn or leather merchants in the squares or under the arcades, get a thrill from the Cathar stories … today, your adventure will not be so risky but still exciting as ever. 



 

Contact us

Office de Tourisme - accueil de Gaillac
Abbaye Saint Michel
81600
Gaillac
Téléphone: 
0 805 400 828 (numéro gratuit depuis fixes et mobiles)
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walled-in towns and villages

Things to do and see

Tarn is the country of great outdoors activities. 3500 km of hiking tracks, bikes tours, horse riding, climbing, and many others things to do in a wonderful green landscape. Enjoy nature, practice sports and relax.

Events

at the moment

Going out

Wed 20
  •  - Marché à Briatexte

  •  - " Marché Lisle Sur Tarn "

  •  - " Marché jeudi matin Graulhet "

  •  - " Noctambio Gaillac "

  •  - Marché hebdomadaire de Gaillac

  •  - Marché de Castelnau-de-Montmiral

  •  - Marché de Rabastens

  •  - " Petits marchés de Salvagnac "

  •  - " Petit marché Gaillac "

  •  - Marché à Cahuzac-sur-Vère

  •  - " Petit marché Graulhet "

Thu 21
  •  - Marché à Briatexte

  •  - " Marché Lisle Sur Tarn "

  •  - " Marché jeudi matin Graulhet "

  •  - " Noctambio Gaillac "

  •  - Marché hebdomadaire de Gaillac

  •  - Marché de Castelnau-de-Montmiral

  •  - Marché de Rabastens

  •  - " Petits marchés de Salvagnac "

  •  - " Petit marché Gaillac "

  •  - Marché à Cahuzac-sur-Vère

  •  - " Petit marché Graulhet "

Fri 22
  •  - Marché à Briatexte

  •  - " Marché Lisle Sur Tarn "

  •  - " Marché jeudi matin Graulhet "

  •  - " Noctambio Gaillac "

  •  - Marché hebdomadaire de Gaillac

  •  - Marché de Castelnau-de-Montmiral

  •  - Marché de Rabastens

  •  - " Petits marchés de Salvagnac "

  •  - " Petit marché Gaillac "

  •  - Marché à Cahuzac-sur-Vère

  •  - " Petit marché Graulhet "

Sat 23
  •  - Marché à Briatexte

  •  - " Marché Lisle Sur Tarn "

  •  - " Marché jeudi matin Graulhet "

  •  - " Noctambio Gaillac "

  •  - Marché hebdomadaire de Gaillac

  •  - Marché de Castelnau-de-Montmiral

  •  - Marché de Rabastens

  •  - " Petits marchés de Salvagnac "

  •  - " Petit marché Gaillac "

  •  - Marché à Cahuzac-sur-Vère

  •  - " Petit marché Graulhet "

Sun 24
  •  - Marché à Briatexte

  •  - " Marché Lisle Sur Tarn "

  •  - " Marché jeudi matin Graulhet "

  •  - " Noctambio Gaillac "

  •  - Marché hebdomadaire de Gaillac

  •  - Marché de Castelnau-de-Montmiral

  •  - Marché de Rabastens

  •  - " Petits marchés de Salvagnac "

  •  - " Petit marché Gaillac "

  •  - Marché à Cahuzac-sur-Vère

  •  - " Petit marché Graulhet "

Mon 25
  •  - Marché à Briatexte

  •  - " Marché Lisle Sur Tarn "

  •  - " Marché jeudi matin Graulhet "

  •  - " Noctambio Gaillac "

  •  - Marché hebdomadaire de Gaillac

  •  - Marché de Castelnau-de-Montmiral

  •  - Marché de Rabastens

  •  - " Petits marchés de Salvagnac "

  •  - " Petit marché Gaillac "

  •  - Marché à Cahuzac-sur-Vère

  •  - " Petit marché Graulhet "

Tue 26
  •  - Marché à Briatexte

  •  - " Marché Lisle Sur Tarn "

  •  - " Marché jeudi matin Graulhet "

  •  - " Noctambio Gaillac "

  •  - Marché hebdomadaire de Gaillac

  •  - Marché de Castelnau-de-Montmiral

  •  - Marché de Rabastens

  •  - " Petits marchés de Salvagnac "

  •  - " Petit marché Gaillac "

  •  - Marché à Cahuzac-sur-Vère

  •  - " Petit marché Graulhet "

Wed 27
  •  - Marché à Briatexte

  •  - " Marché Lisle Sur Tarn "

  •  - " Marché jeudi matin Graulhet "

  •  - " Noctambio Gaillac "

  •  - Marché hebdomadaire de Gaillac

  •  - Marché de Castelnau-de-Montmiral

  •  - Marché de Rabastens

  •  - " Petits marchés de Salvagnac "

  •  - " Petit marché Gaillac "

  •  - Marché à Cahuzac-sur-Vère

  •  - " Petit marché Graulhet "

Thu 28
  •  - Marché à Briatexte

  •  - " Marché Lisle Sur Tarn "

  •  - " Marché jeudi matin Graulhet "

  •  - " Noctambio Gaillac "

  •  - Marché hebdomadaire de Gaillac

  •  - Marché de Castelnau-de-Montmiral

  •  - Marché de Rabastens

  •  - " Petits marchés de Salvagnac "

  •  - " Petit marché Gaillac "

  •  - Marché à Cahuzac-sur-Vère

  •  - " Petit marché Graulhet "