Lisle sur Tarn
A bastide village dating back to the 13th century, Lisle sur Tarn is perfectly situated halfway between Albi and Toulouse, on the banks of the River Tarn and at the heart of the Gaillac wine growing-region. This privileged position, at the crossroads of a commercial waterway, allowed the town to expand and prosper over centuries.
Lisle sur Tarn: a riverside bastide village
The port that helped Lisle sur Tarn make its name during the era of great river trading may no longer exist. Indeed, only a statue of the famous naval explorer Lapérouse now marks the spot. But Lisle sur Tarn still resonates with the splendours of those past centuries.
The architecture is typical of a bastide town, with a market square in the centre, a grid system of roads, urban blocks, town houses and the Notre-Dame de la Jonquière church completing things nicely.
The enduring charm of Lisle sur Tarn is based on its streets and its half-timbered building fronts made of red brick, many with cantilevers and what are known as ‘pountets’ – living rooms built between two buildings and overhanging the road, leaving an arched access underneath. The market square, surrounded by attractive covered walkways, is one of the biggest in the South West. Why not uncover the delights of the town by taking a walk down to the banks of the Tarn River, passing townhouses, shops, restaurants and half-timbered frontages along the way?
The church of Notre Dame de la Jonquière
Classified as a historical monument, the church is square at the base, then turns into an octagon before ending up in a spire that’s 50 metres high. This particular style is often called ‘Mediterranean Gothic’, or ‘Tolosano-Albigeois’. The church is richly furnished with items partly originating from the Chapel of the Augustins at Toulouse.
It’s in the market square that you can see how Lisle sur Tarn maintains its natural rhythm of life. When springtime comes around you can sit outside the cafés and restaurants, while the shaded walkways bring a welcome freshness to summer walks. On Sunday mornings, meanwhile, the square is full to bursting with sights and sounds, smells and colours emanating from the stands of the traders at the unmissable weekly market.
Young and old alike can enjoy numerous activities around Bellevue Lake, situated right by Lisle sur Tarn.
The lake has a leisure park, the starting point for a number of rambles heading for the lovely Forest of Sivens, a site for motorhomes, a games area, a tennis court, a fitness path, a swimming pool, and a picnic area. But the lake is also a place where people love to come for a little afternoon nap.
In July Bellevue Lake hosts a spectacular firework display that lights up the Tarn, and is one of the most popular in the area. It’s also where you’ll find a Festival of Performing Arts, featuring some great rock and pop acts.
In September you can immerse yourself in the world of detective novels at the Lisle Noir crime fiction festival. And as for museums, you can really eat up a visit to the Art Of Chocolate museum. But don’t forget the Raymond Lafage museum, celebrating the work of the 17th century artist and engraver.
The Tourist Information office at Lisle sur Tarn
The Tourist Information Office at Lisle sur Tarn will help you to organise your stay in the area, whether you want to book a hotel, a chambre d’hôte or a campsite, find a restaurant or check out an activity.
The Lisle sur Tarn equestrian centre offers excursions on horseback. And the town is right at the heart of Gaillac’s wine-growing territory, so don’t forget our famous “apéros concerts” and visits to the wineries.
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