Naturally students are curious to explore the Painting School vicinity. Many are fully satisfied by the riches of Castelnau de Montmiral itself. They can also enjoy short walks in the varied and beautiful countryside in the Painting School vicinity. Others may want to go further afield. As there is virtually no public transport this can mean hiring a taxi or renting a car, although often students who come with cars enjoy sharing trips. Also, if the group as a whole wish to visit the Musée Toulouse-Lautrec in Albi, the Course Director will be happy to organise an expedition.
Places of interest with links to websites
- Within Walking Distance (4 km)
At 3 km, visible from the Painting School studio window, lies the historic Forêt de Grésigne, the largest forest in S.W. France and the largest oak forest in Europe. Though the predominant species of tree is oak, there are many others as well. It is also particularly rich in flora and fauna and has a network of clearly marked paths to facilitate forest walks.
At 1 km, for those who like a cooling swim, there is an artificial lake in the valley below Castelnau de Montmiral.
- Further Afield
At 12 km, Gaillac is our nearest larger town and the centre of an ancient and prestigious wine-growing area. As well as boasting a wide selection of supermarkets, shops and restaurants, it is well worth a visit in its own right as it contains a charming historic town centre which features the imposing Abbaye Saint-Michel, with adjacent views of the river Tarn.
At 22 km lies the cathedral town of Albi, which was designated a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2010. The 13th Century Cathédrale Sainte-Cécile, apart from being the largest brick-built cathedral in the world, contains remarkable wall and ceiling frescoes, an immense mural of the “Last Judgment” and a large number of carved wooden statues lining the ornate choir stalls. Nearby is the newly restored Musée Toulouse-Lautrec which houses the most extensive collection of the work of the French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec who was born nearby.
Castelnau de Montmiral is included in the so called Circuit des Bastides, a grouping of local medieval towns in the Painting School vicinity that are well worth a visit. These include:
Puycelsi, at 13 km.
Bruniquel, at 22 km.
Cordes sur Ciel, at 23 km.
Saint-Antonin Noble Val, at 25 km.
Maps showing the location of Castelnau de Montmiral
As well as indicating Paris, the outline map of France above shows Toulouse, our nearest city and indicates its relation both to Gaillac, our nearest larger town, and to Castelnau de Montmiral. The map immediately below features arrows indicating the location of Toulouse Blagnac airport and Castelnau de Montmiral. It also shows the Autoroute A64 that joins Toulouse to Albi, via Gaillac.
The still from a Google map below provides a closeup of Castelnau de Montmiral. It gives street names and marks with yellow arrows both the location of the Painting School and the direction of Gaillac .
Finally, click here to access the Google Map from which the above image comes, which can be made larger or smaller in order either to focus down for more detailed information about the town or to explore its surroundings. To the right is an inset providing access to numerous images of the town and its locality.
Other websites which may be of interest