The Greatest Unknown Cathedral

One of the greatest unknown churches is the Sainte-Cecile cathedral of Albi. The exterior, which resembles a fortress, hides a wealth of art inside.

It was built in the aftermath of the Albigensian Crusade, which sought to eliminate Catharism – the build was completed in 1282. The church breathes harmony and symmetry. Through it we can gain a glimpse of how medieval churches were in fact very richly decorated. In fact, medieval times were very colorful!

The late Gothic portal

Didier Descouens

We stand at the entrance of the cathedral. The style of this cathedral is typical late gothic flamboyant.

The Rood Screen


The rood screen, referring to the Saxon word rood, meaning cross, is one of the most beautiful. Christ is crucified and surrounding Him stand Our Lady and St John.

The choir – Pom²
The choir – Pom²

In the 16th century, many choir screens were removed. A bit later on this one was also threatened (during the French Revolution) and was a ‘Temple of Reason’ for some time).

Painted Vault


The beautiful ceiling, with paintings from the 16th century.

The Organ and Last Judgment painting

source: PierreSelim

When standing at the center of the church, it is easy to see the coherence of this cathedral.

Looking to the West – Benh LIEU SONG


This post focuses on visual beauty more than on words. The images speak for themselves. The aesthetics of this late medieval cathedral shows the glories of the those times.

For more images, I highly recommend looking over the Sainte-Cecile cathedral of Albi Wikipedia page.

Originally published on Stainedglasszealot’s substack.

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