Le palais de la Berbie

Le palais de la Berbie (HM14ZI)

Location: Albi, Midi-Pyrénées 81000 Tarn
Country: France

N 43° 55.734', E 2° 8.595'

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[The Bishop's Palace]

La constructionLe nom du palais vient du mot occitan ?bisbia? , devenue ?verbie? puis ?berbie? et qui signiffie ?v?ch?.L'?dification du palais se d?roule en de nombreuses ?tapes : la construction elle-m?me s'?tale entre 1228 et 1306. Par la suite, et ce jusqu'au d?but du XXe si?cle, le palais subira des am?nagements multiple.Durand de Beaucaire (1228-1254)Jusqu'au d?but de XIIIe si?cle, les ?v?ques d'Albi habitent un groupe de maisons proche de la cath?drale romane pr?t? par les chanoines. Les ?v?ques vont profiter de la d??ch?ance des vicomte d'Albi, les Trencavel, lors de la croisade des Albigeois, pour r?eorganiser ? leur profit la perception des imp?ts. Cet enrichissement soudain permet ? l'?v?que Durand de Beaucaire de marquer sa puissance au travers d'une nouvelle ridence. Elle se compose d'une salle f?odale (aula) ? laquelle est accol?e un tour; ? l'ouest est ?difi?e la tour Saint-Michel (? deux nieveaux) destin?e au tribunal et aux prisons eccliastiques.Bernard de Combret (1254-1271)Cet ?v?que va terminer les travaux de son pr?d?cesseur en donnant au palais son aspect de citadelle : il relie entre eux les anciens b?timents. L'?v?que craint pour sa s?curit? ? cause de pouvoir royal qui soutient les revendications d'Albi et ? cause des r?voltes populaires, les murailles son donc beaucoup plus sophistiqu?es de c?t? de la Ville, principal adversaire de l'?v?que, que du c??t? Tarn, ?rempart? naturel. Par ailleurs, a fin d'?viter tout risque d'incendie, il r?alise le couvrement en vo?te d'orgives de toutes les salles de la forteresse.Bernard de Castanet (1277-1306)Ces travaux se font en parall?le avec l'?dification de la nouvelle cath?drale Sainte-Cecile. Le caract?re ambitieux, autoritaire de l'?v?que d?chaine contre lui la col?re roayale et la haine des Ambigeois. Craigmmant pour sa s?curit? , il renforce ? nouveau le b?timent.Il ?labore un double-donjon, la tour Mage, qui se compose:de l'ancienne tour Saint-Michel, sur?lev?e d'un ?tage qui accueille la chapelle priv?e de l'?v?que et la salle officielle.d'une nouvelle tour, la tour Sainte-Catherine, dans laquelle ride dormais l'?v?que.L' anciennne ridence, la Vieille Berbie, devient le tribunal eccliastique. La courtine de Bernard de Castanet est renforc?e par des contreforts h?misph?riques (c?t? jardins). Enfin,, il lance deux courtines * ? l'ouest et a l'est, qui d?valent les escarpements vers le fleuve, cr?ant ainsi de nouveaux paces dependants du palais et permettant une fuite ?ventuelle vers le Tarn.* Coutine: mur joignant les flancs de deux bastions voisins.

[English]
Le palais de la Berbie
The construction
The French name for the Bishop's Palace originates fro the old Provencal word ?bisbia? , meaning bishop , and was thereafter transformed into ?verbie? and finally ?berbie? .

The construction of the Palace took place in several steps: construction propre began in 1228 and finished in 1306. From then on, right up to the start of the 20th century, the Palace underwent a number of substantial changes.

The three most important periods of construction of the Palace were dominated by three of its bishops:Durand de Beaucaire (1228-1254)Until the beginning of the 13th century, the bishops of Albi lived in a group of houses near the Romanesque Cathedral, lent to them by the cannons.The treasure recovered by the Church after the Crusade against the Albigeois (1209-1229) enabled the bishop, Durand de Beaucaire, to symbolize his power over the Trencavel family, viscounts of Albi, with the construction of his new residence. It comprised a feudal hall (aula) with an adjoining tower to the west. This was St- Michael's Tower (Tour St. Michel) built on two levels, to house the church tribunal and prison cells.

Bernard de Combret (1254-1271)
Bishop de Combert completed the works begun by his predecessor, giving the Palace its citadel appearance by joining the old buildings together. The bishop feared for his safety, for the Crown upheld the claims against him by the Commoners of Albi, and he dreaded the idea of a people's revolt. The fortified walls are therefore much more sophisticated on the town side, where the bishop's main adversaries lay, rather than on the side of the Tarn river which forms a natural fortication.

To prevent any threat of fire, he also had every hall of the fortress covered with ribbed vaults.

Bernard de Castanet (1277-1306)
The work undertaken by Bishop de Castanet was carried out at the same time as the construction of the new Saint Cecilia Catherdral. The bishop's ambitious, authoritarian character incurred the wrath of the Crown and the hatred of the people of Albi. Fearing for his safety, the bishop further reinforced the fortifications.

The bishop built a twin keep, the Tour Mage (Seer's Tower), combining the old Saint Michael's tower, with one floor added for the bishop's private chapel and his official hall, and a new tower, Saint Catherine's tower, as the bishop's residence.

His old residence, the ?Vielle Berbie? (old Bishop's Palace) became the seat for the church tribunal. The curtain built by Bernard de Castanet was reinforced by two rounded buttresses (on the garden side). Finally, two curtains were built to the east and the west, running down the escarpment to the river, thereby creating new areas directly linked to the Palace, and assuring safe passage if need be towards the river Tarn.

Glossary curtain: the section of a castle wall between two neighboring towers.[Spanish translation not transcribed.]

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HM NumberHM14ZI
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Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 6th, 2014 at 8:09am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)31T E 431228 N 4864332
Decimal Degrees43.92890000, 2.14325000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 43° 55.734', E 2° 8.595'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds43° 55' 44.04" N, 2° 8' 35.70" E
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)515
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 6 Rue de la Temporalité, Albi Midi-Pyrénées 81000, FR
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