Combefa’s castle

Vestiges du Château de Combefa, résidence d'été des évêques d'Albi

What a beautiful residence on the top of a hill, which is unfortunately, nowadays, in ruins. The castle stands in front of you on the little community of Combefa. Discover the fascinating history of Combefa’s castle that became Albi’s bishop’s summer residence. Its past connects Albi, Combefa and Monestiés.


Around 1270, his Grace Bernard de Combret, bishop of Albi, had the castle built. It’s the bishops’ country estate. At the end of the XVth century, the castle is reshaped. In 1490, Louis 1st of Amboise, bishop of Albi, orders a statuary for the new chapel’s altar of Combela’s episcopal castle. The whole of 20 polychrome sculptures, “unique in the world”, overlays three episodes in the life of The Christ : Crucifixion, Lamentation, Entombment. At the beginning of the 18th century, the bishops abandon the old castle of Combefa for the luxury and comfort of the Small Lude, in Albi. Moreover, they left it in a state of disrepair, same for the statues. Fortunately, the inhabitants of Monestiés have been able, with the agreement of Abbot Choiseul in 1774, to carry the statues, thanks to 14 carts pulled by oxen, and to shelter them in St Jacques’ chapel in Monestiés. Later on, at the instigation of Cardinal Bernis, the castle has been stripped from its stones which will be used for many buildings and monuments including the quays of Choiseul, in Albi.

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