Walk in Castres in the Tarn

Castres
Walk in Castres in th ...

Castres a city with many facets that will surprise and charm you. The old medieval city has managed to preserve a remarkable heritage and craftsmanship. Today it is a dynamic and creative city, turned towards art. Nestled between the Haut-Languedoc Natural Park and the Cambounet-sur-le-Sor Regional Nature Reserve, it benefits from an exceptional environment. Crossed by the Agout river, you can do all kinds of nature activities.


Photos of the article ©   Guide Tarn Aveyron


sponsored content

Castres, a city steeped in history

Castres has a very old but little documented origin. The Gallo-Roman castrums of Durenque and Gourjade were mainly developed with the arrival of Christian missionaries around a Benedictine abbey, destroyed in the nineteenth century. From the ninth century, the city is growing thanks to the relics of Vincent of Saragossa, making it an important step on the Chemins de Saint Jacques de Compostela, the Via Tolosana.

The former Episcopal Palace of Castres, leaning against the belfry of the Abbey of Saint-Benoît, testifies to this prosperous period for Castres. Today it houses the Goya Museum. The Saint-Benoît Cathedral, which faces it and at its feet, the Bishop's Palace, designed by Le Nôtre, is also worth a visit.

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Castres is very affected by the Wars of Religion. It will undergo much destruction, but will eventually rise from its ashes, becoming the seat of the Edict Chamber. This court of justice of the Parliament of Toulouse deals with Protestant cases following the Edict of Nantes. Many magistrates settled in Castres and built beautiful mansions. The Hôtel de Nayrac is the most emblematic of this period.

Another consequence, in the seventeenth century, the luxury textile industry is flourishing in Castres! The Maisons sur l'Agoût, with colorful facades and feet in the water, housed these artisan weavers, tanners, dyers… They are part of the Castres landscape and have given it its nickname “ Little Venice ”.


the good idea You can contemplate them during an unusual trip on the Agout, aboard the Miredames. This is called a " water check ". It is a traditional wooden boat, of the river barge type.


In the nineteenth century, it was the birth of Jean Jaurès in Castres which marks the history of the city. The Jean Jaurès National Museum retraces life in its time. It also brings together many archival documents on his political action and his work.


Castres  Castres
Castres

Castres, a city of art

The Goya Museum is a good illustration of this artistic soul of the city of Castres. It was at the end of the nineteenth century that the first Goya's works come to the Museum of Castres, impelling the Hispanic theme. Thus other painters of the same lineage will take place there, such as Joan Miro or Dali.

Castres is a City of Art and History, which celebrates artistic creations in all their forms:

  • The Venetian Carnival is an ode to Venice and recalls this artisanal tradition of textile design from Castres.
  • Les Rues'cambolesques brings together street shows of all kinds: circus, dance, music, magic...
  • The Extravadanses will make you dance until the end of the night.
  • The Festival of Lights reveals the works of Goya, projected on the most beautiful monuments of the city.
  • The Christmas Market is the largest in Occitania and is a tribute to this generous region in the south of France.
  • Many other events animate the city of Castres.

Castres
Castres  Castres

    A green and sporty city

    Castres is located in a very natural environment, near the Haut-Languedoc Natural Park. On the other side of town is the Cambounet-sur-le-Sor Regional Nature Reserve. It is crossed by the Agout and its tributaries, the Thoré and the Durenque. Castres is labeled " 3 flowers " among the towns and villages in bloom. Many green spaces are at your disposal to relax and play sports with your family:  

    • The Parc de Gourjade is a natural bubble on the outskirts of the city and on the edge of the Haut-Languedoc Natural Park. It is a very family-friendly place: walking trails, picnic areas, playground and sports area. Located in a bend of the Agout, you can even take a boat ride and many other water activities. It is also home to the Golf de Castres.
    • It is extended by the Borde Basse site, with a municipal swimming pool, a skate park and an equestrian center.
    • The Briguiboul Park is designed as a botanical garden, where each plant is referenced. It is home to two cedars, classified as “ remarkable trees ”.
    • The Frascaty Garden is a Roman-inspired square, imagined around its fountain.
    • The Chemin des Fontaines is a nice stroll between the city center and the Lameilhé district.
    • The Jardin du Mail is a pretty English park.
    • While the Jardin de l'Évêché was created according to the plans of Le Nôtre and therefore in a classic style, called “ à la française ”, with a characteristic topiary art.
    • The banks of l'Agoût and Durenque are, in part, bordered by greenways and walking paths, in particular the greenway of La Barque pour l'Agoût and the chemin du Salinal for Durenque.

      the good plan La Guinguette des edges de l'Agoût is located between the river and the garden of the Bishop's Palace, to take advantage of this bucolic setting, in a friendly atmosphere.


      Castres
      Castres  Castres

      Difficult to approach sport in Castres, not to mention its rugby club! A very committed Olympic club which gives the city an incomparable character and atmosphere. Rugby enthusiasts will enjoy the many sporting events that take place there.


      sponsored content

      Activities around Castres

      Hiking or cycling

      • The Parulle loop (fr) is a greenway that follows the Chemin des Fontaines, near the center of Castres, and runs along part of the Agout.
      • The Green Way of Human Rights (fr) is a former railway line which joined Albi in Castres. It has been transformed into a 44 km long cycling and walking path.
      • In the Haut-Languedoc Natural Park, the Rochers du Sidobre are “ granite giants ”. This walk takes you into a mineral universe, which will impress you with the size and majesty of these granite blocks.

        the good idea The tourist office offers a guided day trip through the Sidobre.



        • At the foot of Mazamet, the Montagne Noire is an exceptional natural site. Its forest landscapes, interspersed with mountain torrents, are very exotic. The GR7 crosses it.
        • The Passerelle de Mazamet is a walk for thrill seekers. 70 meters above the Arnette, the suspended footbridge spans the valley between Mazamet and the medieval village of Hautpoul. Two hiking routes allow you to reach the footbridge. You can extend the walk to Lac de Montagnès, along the Linoubre.

        Castres

          Leisure centers and tourist sites

          • The Lac de Montagnès, to the south of Castres, hosts an aquatic leisure center, surrounded by nature, the Aqua Wi'Fun. A tree climbing park, Lac'Cro Parc, allows you to gain height and contemplate the lake and the surrounding forest, from the treetops!
          • In Mazamet, the Bonnecombe leisure center has a playground, a picnic area and a sports course.  
          • In Mazamet, the Maison du Bois et du Jouet is a fun space, with more than 40 games available, but also educational on the making of wooden toys.

          Mazamet

            The surrounding villages

            • Burlat is an ancient fortified village, with an interesting heritage: the Pavilion of Adelaide, the House of Adam, a priory and a collegiate church, ramparts...
            • The woolen town of Mazamet and its unusual industry
            • The medieval village of Hautpoul
            • Labruguière and its historic center from the Middle Ages
            • Lautrec, one of the most beautiful villages in France
            • Sorèze and its astonishing Abbey-school
            • The episcopal city of Albi is certainly a little further away but it is well worth a detour!

            We hope that these few ideas made you want to visit Castres, a must-see town in Tarn Aveyron.


            sponsored content

            Did you like our article? Find others on our Blog "Do it your way". Follow us on the Tarn Aveyron Guide Facebook page and on Instagram @guidedutarnaveyron


            Back to "Weekend & Holidays"

            You will also like

            Getting married in the Tarn

            Getting married in the Tarn
            Getting married in the Tarn

            Castres

            The Mazamet Via Ferrata: Free and open all year round

            The Mazamet Via Ferrata: Free and open all year round
            The Mazamet Via Ferrata: Free and open all yea ...

            16,9 km - Mazamet

            The top 10 unusual visits in the Tarn!

            The top 10 unusual visits in the Tarn!
            The top 10 unusual visits in the Tarn!

            16,9 km - Mazamet

            Have fun with the children in the Tarn

            Have fun with the children in the Tarn
            Have fun with the children in the Tarn

            16,9 km - Mazamet

            On holiday in albi and having fun with the kids!

            On holiday in albi and having fun with the kids!
            On holiday in albi and having fun with the kids!

            36,3 km - Albi

            You will like also

            Jardin de l'Evéché

            Jardin de l'Evéché
            Jardin de l'Evéché

            Castres

            Musée Jean Jaurès

            Musée Jean Jaurès
            Musée Jean Jaurès

            129 m - Castres

            Les chocolats de Josepha

            Les chocolats de Josepha
            Les chocolats de Josepha

            Les Chocolats de Josépha, chocolate workshops for all gourmets in the Tarn In a small alley in the city of Castres, ...

            143 m - Castres

            Eglise Saint-Jacques-de-Villegoudou

            Eglise Saint-Jacques-de-Villegoudou
            Eglise Saint-Jacques-de-Villegoudou

            208 m - Castres

            Cathédrale Saint-Benoît de Castres

            Cathédrale Saint-Benoît de Castres
            Cathédrale Saint-Benoît de Castres

            219 m - Castres

            Ride around

            Randonnée Boucle de la Parulle 7,5km / 2h20

            Randonnée Boucle de la Parulle 7,5km / 2h20
            Randonnée Boucle de la Parulle 7,5km / 2h20

            197 m - Castres

            Walking

            Circuit Vélo - C21 A l'abri du vent d'Autan

            Circuit Vélo - C21 A l'abri du vent d'Autan
            Circuit Vélo - C21 A l'abri du vent d'Autan

            1,3 km - Castres

            Bike / road

            Veloroute Castres - Revel

            Veloroute Castres - Revel
            Veloroute Castres - Revel

            1,3 km - Castres

            Bike / road

            Circuit Vélo - C2 Du sentier du train au massif du Sidobre

            Circuit Vélo - C2 Du sentier du train au massif du Sidobre
            Circuit Vélo - C2 Du sentier du train au massi ...

            1,8 km - Castres

            Bike / road

            Randonnée pédestre : Lo Camin de las Peyras 10,5km / 3h

            Randonnée pédestre : Lo Camin de las Peyras 10,5km / 3h
            Randonnée pédestre : Lo Camin de las Peyras 10 ...

            4,8 km - Navès

            Walking