Albi and cathedral#
It was already a small settlement in Roman times. Today it has a population of some 50.000. It became (in) famous because of the brutal Cathar Crusades (1209-1229), also called Albigensian crusades, initiated by pope Innocent III and the French king - the latter also motivated by the idea to conquer additional territory- against the Christian Cathari who were considered preaching heresy.
Albi Cathedral is a Brick Gothic cathedral that was constructed between 1287 to 1480 after the crusades that caused much bloodshed and destruction also in Albi. The cathedral's dominant presence and fortress-like exterior were intended to convey the power and authority of the Roman Catholic Church. The cathedral is often considered the largest brick building in the world. It is a UNESCO heritiage site.