The 2,500 year-old City of Art and History of Narbonne has a rich heritage; it was the capital of the Narbonne region of Gaul, the place where the Visigoth kings resided and the site of the Archbishops' palace. In the heart of the historic centre, two buildings, listed as Historic Monuments, merit a visit: the cathedral of Saint-Just-et-Saint-Pasteur and the Archbishops' Palace.
Unfinished, the 13th and 14th-century Narbonne cathedral has retained an absolutely spectacular choir; with 41-metre-high arches it is the highest Gothic choir in the south of France! The axial chapel is distinguished by a splendid 14th- century altarpiece in polychromatic stone. The Treasure Room reveals a rich collection of gold and silver artefacts, tapestries and liturgical objects. Afterwards, don't forget to take a stroll in the peaceful Gothic cloister, before heading off to the Archbishopric's garden, where you can admire the flying buttresses and the south tower of the cathedral as well as the façade of the new palace, at your leisure. The site of the Town Hall and the Museums of Art and Architecture, the Archbishops' Palace has a number of different areas which are open to visitors: the old palace, Romanesque in origin, the Gilles Aycelin keep, the new Gothic style palace and the Saint-Martial and Madeleine towers. Dating from the end of the 13th and beginning of the 14th centuries, the keep offers a panoramic view of Narbonne, the coast, the Corbières and the Pyrenees from its upper terrace!
Then there's nothing better than a coffee break at one of the café terraces in the lively Place de l'Hôtel de Ville, before resuming your walk towards the Canal de la Robine and its charming Promenade des Barques, where you can treat yourself to a ride in an electric boat.
Narbonne also has plenty to offer when it comes to museums, with its archaeological museum which houses a remarkable exhibition of Romanesque paintings, its Museum of Art and History, with substantial collections of fine and decorative art, its Museum of Masonry located in the ancient church of Our Lady of Lamourguier, and the house where Charles Trenet was born, which is now entirely dedicated to the famous "Singing Fool".
"Y'a d'la Joie" ("Joy is all around") sang Charles Trenet, and there is certainly joy at the end of August every year when the Trenet Festival takes place, celebrating French popular song with concerts, shows, bodegas and street art!