Sentimental Lavaur, deep Tarn region of Occitanie!

And the saga continues in my lovely Tarn, the deep real France of old. Let me bring you to a singular name ,close to the family and sad. Yes, need to mentioned, sad= my wife’s father was born here and died on a car accident when she was 10, I never met him, but know was a good father; he was going to the funeral of his brother who had died in a car accident too, and on the way back to Meaux he died as well on the icy roads on November 17 (this is also the birthday of our twin boys) so as a repayment perhaps. Ok that’s out then,  Lavaur is in the department 81 Tarn region of Occitanie located in the wonderful triangle of Albi, Toulouse, and Carcassonne,and the city itself on the banks of the Agout river and the hilly pays de Cocagne. It is on the north east of Toulouse, south of Gaillac, and west of Castres been almost on the limits of the next department of the Haute Garonne no 31.

Fast on the road you can reach on the autoroute A68 from Tolouse exit 6 , by train on the TER Occitanie at gare de Lavaur and by plane using the Toulouse-Blagnac airport. We take the D112 from Toulouse as it passes on many relatives cousins etc routes and it takes you right into Lavaur.

A bit of history I like as briefly as I can.

In 1025 the fortified town of Lavaur is mentioned on writings and by 1035 the first mention of a city center is mentioned ; by 1065 it is created the saviors of Lavaur given to the monks of the abbey of Sainte Foy de Conques ; by 1098 the Saint Alain Church is built on lands given by the monks of the abbey of Saint Pons de Thomiéres by Isarn bishop of Toulouse. In 1182, the count of Toulouse takes the town from viscount Roger Trencavel and Raymond V asked the help from Henri de Marsiac, Abbot of Clairvaux to takes action against Lavaur asking in dowry the wife of Roger Trencavel, Adélaide; once the town taken the Cathars living there  must renounced and Raymond keeps the town. In 1211 Lavaur is taken by Simon de Montfort (during the crusades albigeois) after a siege of more than a month. 80 knights are lost and 80 perfects cathars are burned on wood fires, by 1213 there is a council to bring peace, by 1220, following the death of Simon de Montfort, Lavaur is taken by the future Count Raymond VII. By 1226, king Louis VIII following his campaign to submit the Languedoc, made a stop here. By 1229 following the treaty of Meaux, meeting of king Louis IX and Raymond VII ,the fortifications are destroyed.  By 1255 charter for the construction of the Church of Saint-Alain. Finally in 1271, the passage of the town from the count of Toulouse to the kingdome of France.

By September 26 1317 the Pope John XXII ordered the birth of a bishophy of Lavaur. In 1439 the passage of the Dauphin, future king Louis XI at Lavaur, 1462-1468 Louis XI raise Lavaur as County. In 1483, the city returned to the Royal domain again and final under king Charles VIII. Last third of the 15C the construction of an Episcopal palace facing the Cathedral. From 1450 the pastel industry takes over the area until 1600. by 1540 the Estates Generals of Languedoc are held in Lavaur to debate about the project of a canal linking the Garonne river to the Mediterranean, the future Canal du Midi! The rest is calm not much during the WW’s.

Some of the things to see here and in my blog post or expanded here are:

The main thing to see in my opinion and worth the detour is the Cathedral Saint Alain done from the 13C to the 15C and its bellstriker or  jacquemart first one installed in 1603 the only automate in the southwest of France. Inside you will see a roman altar of the first priory from 1098, tomb of bishop Simon de Beausoieil and primitive porch of the 13C as well as monumental porch end 15C, beautiful paintings from the middle of the 19C.  The Bishop garden or Jardins de l’Evéche old garden in French style renovated in the 19C in the English style wonderful oaks trees and a monumental statue of Count Emmanuel de Las Cases. Church of Saint-François.


tour des rondes tourist office now


Grand Rue main street of Lavaur


brasserie les americains at allee jean jaures we ate here appropriately!

The Hôtel de ville , after been in the building of the college des Doctrinaires (today licée Las Cases high school) and in the Hôtel de Clauzade, now is in the former justice palace in a second empire architecture style.  Church of Saint-François, aka des cordeliers from the 13C-15C with a big organ of 1866 ; the former conventional Church of the Cordeliers (Franciscans) founded by Sicard Baron d’Ambres, after the prohibition of the convent the Church becomes parish Church from 1802 to 1963. The Plô (old site of the Castle of Lavaur today gone). This site purchased by the King for its consults in 1622 is now a public promenade and now an esplanade big walking space since the 17C! very nice walks here and a rest to marvel of the architecture all around you. The tour des Rondes one of the old fortifications of the city is now the Tourist office. The monastery of the Clarisses founded in 1642 destroyed during the French revolution and returning in 1802, the current Chapel (1837) houses since 1852 the coffin of Sainte Clémentine, Roman Virgin and Martyr discovered in a well in Rome. The hospital of Lavaur from the first half of the 17C; bridge or pont de Lavaur, stone bridge over the Agout river built between 1773 and 1791. The quaint nice cereal stockage market or Halle aux Grains done by 1880 and today the town’s market!!! Viaduc de Lavaur, railroad bridge in cement over the Agout river built between 1882 and 1884, and the Sanctuary of Notre-Dame du Pech.


Halle aux Grains and wife


Church St Francis at Grand Rue

And there you go. Some webpages on tourism to help you plan your trip to this nice city in deep Tarn on the  limits of the Haute Garonne.

The dept 81 Tarn tourist office on Lavaur

 City of Lavaur on tourism info in French:

 Region of Occitanie on Lavaur :

Welcome to the old midi pyrénées region of France now Occitanie. Happy travels, good health,and many cheers!!!


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2 Comments to “Sentimental Lavaur, deep Tarn region of Occitanie!”

  1. What a tragic family story! It must have been very difficult times for all back then.
    We missed Lavaur during our recent travels around the Toulouse area. We saw so much and all so lovely, ancient and interesting! Maybe next time. We are going north from here for our appointments in the UK in May, but no doubt we’ll be back this way in the summer. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Liked by 1 person

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