Visit Castres (Midi-Pyrenees, France)
Castres is a large town in the Tarn department of the Midi-Pyrenees, east of Toulouse. The town deserves a visit, both for the sights and for the important Goya Museum.
The highlight of a visit to castres is undoubtedly the view of the houses along the River Agout - a very pretty stretch of houses which were once home to leather tanneries and cloth dying industries. The houses and their balconies positively overhang the river while direct access to the river is provided by exits at the lower level.
Note that the houses look even more impressive at night when they are lit up than they do during the day.
The main religious monument here is the Church of Saint-Benoit. built in the 17th century and originally a cathedral (it is still frequently referred to as Castres cathedral).
One other place of particular interest is the Bishop's Palace (now the town hall) and the associated immaculately laid out gardens (of box and yew hedges). The Bishops Palace was designed by Mansart (the architect of the Palace of Versailles) while the gardens were laid out by Le Notre (very famous 17th century landscape gardener in France who also laid out the gardens at Versailles).
Elsewhere in Castres you can see some other grand 17th century renaissance style houses such as the Hotel Jean Leroy and the Hotel Nayrac featurin ornate decoration and entrances. The town also has some narrow streets to explore.
The Goya Museum and the Jaures Museum
This interesting museum in Castres is dedicated to Spanish artists and contains three works by Goya himself, and many by other important Spanish artists such as Velasquez.
A second museum examines the life of Jean Jaures, born here in 1859. Jaures was an important French politician best known as a pacifist who was opposed to the First World War.
To visit near Castres
From the town centre you can take a ride on a traditional boat that heads a couple of kilometres along the river to an extensive park area called Gourjade Park, ideal for a picnic or a stroll in a peaceful setting.
After seeing Castres, head a little way east towards the granite plateau region around Le Sidobre where woodlands and rivers, interspersed with streams of large boulders and other rocks that are precariously balanced create a magical world and plenty of amusement for the children as they argue about what animals the rock shapes resemble.
Photos taken within 10 km
Address: Castres, Tarn, Midi-Pyrenees, 81100 || GPS: latitude 43.6, longitude 2.25
Map of Castres & places nearby
Highlights close by
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Castres, France
- Jardin de l'Évêché - remarkable garden
- Revel - recommended detour (25km)
- Gouffre de Cabrespine - site of natural beauty (32km)
- Haut-Languedoc - regional natural parc (33km)
- Albi - secteur sauvegarde (37km)
- Jardin et parc du château de Loubens - remarkable garden (37km)
- Episcopal City, Albi - heritage site (38km)
- Jardin du palais de la Berbie - remarkable garden (38km)
- Parc Rochegude - remarkable garden (38km)
- Jardin des Martels - remarkable garden (42km)
Market days in Castres: Regular market(s) are held in Castres each Wednesday & Tuesday & Thursday & Saturday & Friday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Castres (Francais)