The easiest way to reach Castres is by plane. The Mazamet Airport is located about 7 kilometers (4 miles) South East of the city. Another option which may not be as fast or pricy is getting to Castres by train. The Gare de Castres connects this French destination to Mazamet and Toulouse. The approximate driving distance between Paris and Castres is 584 kilometers (363 miles).
Current weather nearby
- Temperature: 11 °C
- Wind: Variable, 1.9 km/h
- Pressure: 1009 hPa
- Rel. Humidity: 94 %
- Visibility: 10 km
43.0 km South
Sat, 11/03/2012 - 02:30
Derived from the Latin word ''castrum'' translated as ''fortified place'', the French destination where socialist leader Jean Jaures was born is one stop on the map for the ones interested in history, art or religion. Historically, Castres gained fame after Henry IV of France was one of the inhabitants or during the unfortunate times of the Black Plague. Spanish art is collected here under the name of the ''Old Master'' Francisco Jose de Goya and the pilgrimage routes leading to the relics of St. Vincent, the martyr of Spain also show great connection to the neighbor country.
A Rural Region of Great Beauty
Castres is the name for both a commune and the arrondissement capital of the Tarn department. The rural region situated in the Midi-Pyrenees area of Southern France was once part of the former province Languedoc and is the fourth largest industrial center after Toulouse, Tarbes and Albi.
With one of the largest Protestant strongholds of Southern France during the mid 1500s, Castres grew to cover an area of 98, 17 square kilometers ( 37,90 square miles). At approximately 172 meters above sea level a little over 43000 people inhabit these Latin grounds nowadays.
Glamor and Black Destruction
Castres is noted to be the place where famous socialist leader Jean Jaures was born. Considered one of the first social democrats and the main historical figure of the French Left party, Jaures opposed the Socialist party of France. Assassinated at the outbreak of the first World War, Jaures is seen as one of the great political personalities. Even though glamor was brought to the city in 1585 by the French monarch Henry IV who stayed at Castres, the city was also known for the unfortunate events suffered throughout history. A ''victim'' of the Black Pague, a ''survivor'' after the cruel reign of the Black Prince of England, Castres was raided by bands of mercenaries known as Free Companies during The Hundred Year's War.
A French-Spanish Attraction
Named after a Francisco Jose de Goya, a romantic painter to the Spanish crown, the art museum of Castres was created in 1840. Besides the works of the ''old master'', the museum includes the artistic expression of Zurbaram, Velasquez, Murillo or Ribera and is considered the largest collection of Spanish paintings in France. The Goya Museum is located in the Old Bishop's Palace and attracts yearly approximately 28,000 visitors.
Other attractions of Castres include the church of St. Benoit, once cathedral and seat of the bishop or the city hall designed by the architectural mastermind who contributed at Versailles. The Romanesque Tower was once part of the Benedictine Abbey, a monument dating since 647 AD. The Jardine botanique Pierre Fabre ''La Michonne'' are a natural spot which increase the old but sophisticated beauty of Castres.
The once fortified Castres is a romantic destination where art, history and religion come along with the traditional rural atmosphere.