Medieval walled village, near Albi, Toulouse
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Cordes-sur-Ciel, is a beautiful hilltop medieval village fortress or bastide built by the Count of Toulouse in 1222, after the destruction of the previous village on the site by Simon de Montfort, whilst on his crusade against the Cathars. As its very popular on the tourist trail, it is better if you have the choice to visit out of season. The village is not all gloss and shine, with a number of houses in need of love and care: however at its center you will find all the snake charmers of shops, art galleries, museums, street performers that you could wish for. Even so with this splish and splosh, there is great beauty here, with lovely views, - as one often in the clouds looking down on the myriad of fields, rivers, and distant hills.

view from cordes sur ciel, tarn, near albi
View from Cordes sur Ciel of surrounding Tarn countryside

Built in 1222, on the prominent hill top position, Cordes sur Ciel, the village now has very good examples of gothic architecture dating from the 13th and 14th century - palaces built by rich merchants and royal families. The village of Cordes (it only became "Cordes-sur-ciel" in 1993!), at one time was the home to 5500 inhabitants, but later fell in commercial grace due to the influence of the Canal du Midi. Later it benefitted from the mechanical embroidery industry, brought in from Switzerland, and most recently the influx of artists (from Yves Brayer - who came during the 1940s).

What is there to see?
The wonderful views as you climb up to the main village - an activity well worth taking - to appreciate all the nuances of this pretty village.
The Central Marketplace - is at the center of the village and is a popular regional market. Go there on Saturdays it is well worth squeezing into!
There is even a 113 metre deep well under the market place.
Museum of Sugar and Chocolate - where everything from is turned into delightful fancies!

Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain in the beautiful Maison du Grand Fauconnier - with a good selection of modern art as well as posters to buy.
Le musée Charles Portal - where you can trace the local history and arts

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Cordes-sur-Ciel Slide Show

 Explore France
Visit Ceret, near Perpignan
or Conques, near Rodez, Aveyron or Brousse Le Chateau, Aveyron