This thread is meant as a companion to Htmb's brilliant coverage of Sainte Cécile in her thread, Toulouse and Environs, which is not to be missed. There will be some duplication, but Htmb's thread is crucial to a full look at the cathedral.
Information cribbed from this source: The cathedral is on a hill above the river Tarn and was built as a fortress and statement of strength after the Albigensian Campaign (1209-1229) a war against the count of Toulouse and the Cathars, whom the Church considered to be heretics. Construction began in 1282 and the cathedral was fully completed in 1492.
Last Edit: Sept 5, 2016 16:58:22 GMT by bixaorellana: Left out crucial exterior pictures
The Last Judgment murals are below the organ, which was built by Christophe Moucherel in 1736.
The doom or "last judgement". [from end of 15th century] Normally the doom was painted on the rood screen, but Albi is unusual in that the chancel and its rood screen are later additions. The doom was therefore painted on the west wall, at the "wrong end" of the nave. It is supposed to have been the larges doom in the world at 18x10 meters. The Last Judgement itself has disappeared (vandalised by the Church authorities in the XVII century) so God and Saint Michael are missing. Along the bottom are imagined punishments in hell for the seven deadly sins: from left to right: pride, envy, wrath (half missing), sloth (missing), greed (half missing), gluttony and lust. source
Frankly, I find this set of photos really exceptional and one of the reasons is because I have become a bit jaded over the years when I walk into a cathedral or just about any historic church. My eyes simply do not see all of these details anymore, but your pictures have shone a delightful spotlight on so many things.
However, I suspect that the damned were not always wearing books over their private parts and that these are later additions.
Thank you, Kerouac. However ....... mmmmmmm I have to question whether you know where the private parts actually are. The dead have their books of life, with all their actions both good and bad, on their chests. You forced me to go on a scavenger hunt for private parts, so I can tell you that the pale figure with upraised hands (penultimate picture, reply #5) does in fact have a penis, although that's the only generative organ I discerned in the whole mural. All others are discreetly covered by positioning, though there are some fairly impressive buttocks.
Htmb, as you know, I could have spent hours there. As it was, I thought I'd poked into most areas, but I'm sure you saw things I missed. The place really warrants some time of thoughtful studying, but it's so blasted photogenic.
I appreciate that, Lugg. The medieval places are so compelling in the way that they can be so familiar -- homey, even -- and at the same time reflect an almost entirely different consciousness from ours.