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Chateaux and sunflowers

The city of Castres lies in the south-west of the Tarn department in the Midi-Pyrénées. It is surrounded by beautiful scenery, the Tarn countryside being home to many lovely chateaux, with glorious sunflower-filled fields providing a perfect backdrop for these elegant houses of days gone by.

A river running through…

Castres is built on the River Agout, and the old houses on either side lean their upper stories out over the water as though reaching out to the opposite bank. These were once the homes of the weavers and the dyers, and this connection with the textile industry is still important to Castres today.

Historical yet modern

Castres is full of history, and there are reminders of its past very much in evidence in the modern city. The city was founded around a Benedictine Abbey, but also existed in Roman times as Castroum. Monuments worth seeing are the Church of Saint Benoit, the fountain and the statue in the Place Jean Jaurès, the town hall which lies in the old Bishop's palace, and the Quay of the Jacobains, viewed from the Pont Neuf. Also, don't miss the opportunity to visit the Goya Museum, which houses the largest collection of Spanish art in France.

Markets… and markets!

Castres is an excellent place to be if you are one of the many people who love the buzz and colour of French markets. The town has two daily markets, with fresh produce on offer in the main square, and a bric-a-brac or flea market in the Place Albanique. On Saturdays the general market stretches down the riverside, making a most picturesque place to shop!

All mod cons

Apart from the markets, (if you can tear yourself away), there are some great shops in Castres, along with everything else you need to sustain a modern lifestyle. Schools, colleges, restaurants, banks and supermarkets abound, and there is no need to leave the city at all… unless, of course, you wish to visit the fascinating area which surrounds it.

Around Castres

Situated as it is, in the south-west of France, Castres is ideally placed to be a centre for further exploration of this beautiful and fascinating region. Visit the fairytale old Cité of Carcassonne, and investigate the tragic story of the Cathars. Take a trip into Toulouse, the rose-coloured city, or gird your loins and get tickets to watch Castres play a rugby match… an experience you won't forget!

Sports facilities

There are sports besides rugby in Castres, (though some might deny it!), and there is a superb sports complex called L'Archipel. This five hectare complex has an indoor pool, an outdoor pool complex complete with water slides, and in winter there is even a skating rink! Nearby you can find golf, mini golf, horse-riding and cycling.

How to get there

Reaching Castres from the UK by air is easy, thanks to its situation in the centre of a ring of airports. Carcassonne (south) and Rodez (north) are both served by Ryanair, and then there is Montpellier to the east and Toulouse to the west. Montpellier is also served by Ryanair, as well as British Airways and GB Airways, while Toulouse has more of a choice with bmibaby, easyJet, flybe, bmi and British Airways as carriers. Toulouse also has a TGV station, and from here there are trains to Castres itself.

Property prices and availability in and around Castres.

Property around Castres is frequently reasonably priced, at least in comparison with other southern towns. As ever, many desirable areas of the city are priced at a premium, but in the surrounding countryside and on the outskirts of the town there can be some real bargains. Prices have been rising in recent times, though, so if you are seeking property in Castres you should move quite quickly to be sure of a good deal!

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WHERE IS Castres?

Castres is found in the south of France, in the south-west of the Tarn department, close to Tarn's border with the Haute-Garonne.

Castres Property Map


Midi-Pyrénées Guide

Midi-Pyrénées Property Map


Tarn Guide

  Tarn Map

Population: 61,760

Access: By air: Fly to Toulouse, Carcassonne, Rodez or Montpellier. By rail: Take a TGV to Toulouse, then a local train to Castres.

Economy: Includes mechanical and electrical engineering, machine tool manufacture, wooden furniture, granite, textiles, leather goods, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and cow breeding!

Interesting fact: Castres was the home of the socialist leader Jean Jaurès who was murdered just before the start of the First World War.


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