Saint Cecile Cathedral is in the center of Albi, a medieval town 1 hour from Toulouse. It is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site and is one of the most visited in France. For feast days the members of the Albi diocese gather here around their bishop, especially on November 18th, the feast day of Saint Cecile.
Saint Cecile, martyred in Rome, has watched over the town since the 12th century, offering protection to the people of Albi, the Albigensians. A nobleman from the region who went on pilgrimage to Rome is said to have returned with relics of the saint.
The cathedral was built on a foundation that makes it look like a fortified castle. It is what remains of the palace of the bishops. Inside the style is Mediterranean Gothic. It is the only cathedral in Europe that has entirely painted walls and vaulting. It has one of the most beautiful and largest organs in France, a particularly special feature as Saint Cecile is the patron saint of musicians. The rood screen is truly lace in white stone with many extremely well preserved statues dating from the end of the Middle Ages.