The Gothic Cathédrale Ste-Cécile of Albi, built in the 13th century in the heart of Cathar country, is the largest brick building in the world.
The Cathedral was built as a defensive fortress and statement of strength after the Albigensian Crusade (1209-1229), a holy war waged by the Catholic Church against the heretical Cathars and the count of Toulouse.
Construction on Albi Cathedral began in 1282 under the direction of Bernard de Castanet (1277-1307), who was Bishop of Albi and Chief Inquisitor. Construction was mostly done by 1383, but the cathedral was not fully complete until 1492.
Canon SX20 IS