The delightful city of Albi, France, with its meandering medieval streets and red brick architecture, became Palo Alto's sixth sister city in 1994.
Albi is in southwest France, about 50 miles from Toulouse on the Tarn River. The city dates from Roman times and boasts several UNESCO World Heritage sites, as well as a museum dedicated to famed post-Impressionist artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, who was born in Albi in 1864. The museum is housed in one of the oldest and best-preserved castles in France.
The city of 50,000+ is dominated by the imposing Sainte-Cécile Cathedral, an architectural masterpiece built in the 13th Century. It is recognized as one of the largest brick structures in the world.
Like Palo Alto, Albi is a university town. The École des Mines d'Albi (officially École Nationale Supérieure des Mines d'Albi-Carmaux, also known as EMAC or Mines Albi) is a prestigious engineering school. Albi is also home to the small, but highly regarded Institut National Universitaire Jean-François Champollion.
Over the years, Neighbors Abroad has coordinated exhibits with artists from Albi, facilitated a student exchange program, organized classroom "pen pal" exchanges, and initiated numerous homestays and exchanges between Palo Alto and Albi for bicyclists, artists, hikers, and chefs. One of the most enduring relationships between the cities has been a partnership between Palo Alto’s Aurora Singers and Albi’s Chorale Assou-Lézert, with both choral groups enjoying exchanges and collaborative concerts in Albi and Palo Alto for decades.
In September 2023, Palo Alto was honored to host a delegation of three members of the Albi municipal government. Learn more here.
Mayor Pat Burt discusses Palo Alto's long relationship with Albi during a 2022 interview.
Albi Tourist Information
Albi Wikipedia Page
Toulouse Lautrec Museum
News Coverage of Albi-Palo Alto Choral Exchanges