Rabastens in the Tarn!!!

Another dandy in wonderful nostalgic Tarn dept 81 of the Occitanie region of my belle France. We have come here several times and on my road warrior mode gone to many towns all wonderful and most already mentioned in my blog. One more nice one is Rabastens, and i like to tell you a bit more on it now. Hope you enjoy it as I.

We are in the area of the south west or Sud Ouest of my belle France, waving our way thru wonderful country.  Here again wine and cathar history mingle, the cathars are gone but the wine remains in the appellation of Gaillac. The birth region of my dear late wife Martine, late father Pierre.

Lets talk a bit about Rabastens, it sits half way between Toulouse and Gaillac on the D988 or old N88 road, easily done and parking by the long promenade in city center close to Hotel de Ville.  You can use the fast A68 to the village of Coufouleux ,exit or sortie 7 on road D12 ,where the train station is before entering Rabastens, only 800 meters (2640 ft) from city center.  The train station is at gare de Rabastens-Coufouleux , which is a nearby village of Rabastens.  The bus system is the TarnBus, and it covers the town bus No 702 from Albi or Gaillac. Even thus we always come here by car.


It is an old town as such in the area, been inhabited by Visigoths from which it takes its “ens”. The Cathar or Albigeois was big here as the city was considered a center of heresy!  By the treaty of Paris of 1229 the city is forced to destroyed its religious buildings. The war of the Hundred years by 1337 does a lot of damage and many perished under it force, by 1450 the end of the war, the new discovery of pastel or the teint in textiles gave the city a new birth, but then again the war of Religion of 1561 the city is a center of protestanism and suffer heavy damages.  The peace in 1563 does not stop here what is started in Paris with the massacre of St Barthelomy.  Finally the cave or cellars of wine in 1953 gives the wine back to the city and its a source of prosperous times still today.

Some of the things to see and do here are the Hôtel de Ville or mayors’ office an old prayer house and tower of the 16C; and the Museum or musée du pays Rabastinois house in the mansion or hôtel particulier of the 17C, it contains collections of archeology, art and local history, and exhibitions of ancient and contemporary art. Located at Hôtel de la Fite, 2 rue Amédée Clausade.


The must church in town and listed on the route to Santiago or the road to St James de Compostela is Notre Dame du Bourg, (see post) it has wonderful stained glass paintings showing the religious life real or legendary of  James the Mayor or St James. The oldest part dates from the 13C completely done in red brick.

Coming into Rabastens on the road D12 you pass the bridge,facing it you see a seven-story hotel from the 18C that was the Hôtel de la Castagne. It owes its name to a park on which many chestnut trees were planted. Nowadays it has become a private college. This arched bridge, is 7.20 meters long, has a particularity since it was built in 1922 under the old suspension bridge, dated 1837, You see wonderful lock of Rabastens and the force of the Tarn river below, new picture found and it goes here!

rabastens levies windwill over tarn river jul10

You have a wonderful district or quartier du Bourg with old quaint medieval streets looking into the river Tarn, especially rue Gouzy, a lovely red brick bridge, and the gorgeous ramparts that show the fortifications of old at quai des remparts, and the district or quartier du Chateau; the oldest in town, limits of the quai des rempartsquai de la Libération ,and quai du descargadou. This is a great town to walk its ramparts and medieval streets especially in spring time. Lovely.

rabastens hotel particulier rue du pont de plo jul10

For shopping the best is the winery at 33 rue d’Albi, its actually a cooperative where many small winegrowers (about 150) pull their resources to make a delicious wine, well known in France. The Cave de Rabastens, lovely appellation Gaillac from indigenous grapes of the region like the Mauzac for whites. webpage: http://www.vinovalie.com/caves


The Vignobles Bastides local tourist office on Rabastens: https://www.tourisme-vignoble-bastides.com/en/towns-villages/rabastens

The city of Rabastens on things to see: https://www.rabastens.fr/ma-ville/rabastens-et-le-pays-rabastinois

The Occitanie region tourist board on Rabastens: https://www.tourism-occitanie.co.uk/eglise-notre-dame-du-bourg/rabastens

Have a wonderful trip in a gorgeous country of the Tarn, and of course pretty Rabastens!! Always looking forward to be back when possible!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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