Cordes-sur-Ciel la cité.jpg
Cordes-sur-Ciel is located in France
Country France
Region Midi-Pyrénées
Department Tarn
Arrondissement Albi
Canton Cordes-sur-Ciel
Mayor Paul Quilès
Elevation 159–320 m (522–1,050 ft)
(avg. 279 m/915 ft)
Land area1 8.27 km2 (3.19 sq mi)
Population2 1,014  (2007)
 - Density 123 /km2 (320 /sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 81069/ 81170
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Coordinates: 44°03′52″N 1°57′13″E / 44.0644444444°N 1.95361111111°E / 44.0644444444; 1.95361111111

Cordes seen from the valley
Minstrels playing in front of a church during a festival

Cordes-sur-Ciel (Occitan: Còrdas) is a commune in the Tarn department in southern France.

The fortified town was built in 1222 by Raimon VII, the Count of Toulouse, who, though not a Cathar himself, tolerated the heresy. The village is now a popular tourist spot. Until recently the town's name was Cordes, a word thought to come from the Indo-European root "corte" meaning "rocky heights."



In 1222, Cordes received its charter to become a "bastide" from the Count of Toulouse. It is generally considered to be the first of the bastides of SW france. Bastides were "new towns" originally conceived to resettle and pacify people caught up in the Albigensian Crusade. Though not fortified, bastides were often built in defensible locations. It was built between 1222 and 1229 to protect the scattered population of the area from conflict. It was made to replace the village of Saint-Marcel, which was burnt down by the troops of Simon de Montfort in 1215, during the Northern Baron's crusade against the Albigensians.

In the 1229 Treaty of Paris Raymond VII of Toulouse conceded defeat to Louis IX of France. In 1241, Jeanne, the Count of Toulouse, married Alphonse II the brother of Louis IX and the Count of Poitiers. As a result, Cordes became a part of France in 1271 without ever having been militarily conquered. In 1436 Rodrigo de Villandrando pillaged Cordes as part of the Hundred Years' War.

The citizens of Cordes, having built their homes within the original 13th century ramparts, later escaped heavy damage during the religious wars at the end of the 16th century. As a result some excellent examples of 13th and 14th century gothic architecture have been preserved.

Modern history

Cordes was revived in the mid-20th century, by artists and other visitors who noticed the town's beauty. Albert Camus visited it in the 1950s and remarked that “In Cordes, everything is beautiful, even regret”.

In 1993 Cordes was renamed Cordes-sur-Ciel to reflect the town's site on a hill above the clouds that cover the valley below.

Points of interest

  • The city is known for its medium sized outdoor market.
  • Cordes is home to the Museum of the Art of Sugar and Chocolate. The museum contains hundreds of pieces of art made completely of sugar. Subjects as diverse as the Middle Ages, mythology, technology and nature are illustrated in the museum's art.
  • The Jardin des Paradis is a contemporary garden.


The village lies high above the left bank of the Cérou, which flows westward through the middle of the commune.


  • Paul Quilès : Political figure in the French Socialist Party

See also


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cordes sur Ciel — Pays …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cordes-sur-Ciel — Cordes sur Ciel …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Cordes-sur-Ciel — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Cordes sur Ciel Còrdas …   Wikipedia Español

  • Cordes-sur-Ciel — 44° 03′ 52″ N 1° 57′ 13″ E / 44.0644444444, 1.95361111111 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cordes-sur-Ciel — Original name in latin Cordes sur Ciel Name in other language State code FR Continent/City Europe/Paris longitude 44.06667 latitude 1.95 altitude 183 Population 1081 Date 2007 11 21 …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • Canton De Cordes-sur-Ciel — Administration Pays France Région Midi Pyrénées Département Tarn Arrondissement Albi Code cantonal 81 09 Ch …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Canton de cordes-sur-ciel — Administration Pays France Région Midi Pyrénées Département Tarn Arrondissement Albi Code cantonal 81 09 Ch …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Liste des monuments historiques de Cordes-sur-Ciel — Ce tableau présente la liste de tous les monuments historiques classés ou inscrits dans la ville de Cordes sur Ciel, Tarn, en France. Sommaire 1 Liste 2 Annexes 2.1 Bibliographie 2 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Canton de Cordes-sur-Ciel — Administration Pays France Région Midi Pyrénées Département Tarn Arrondissement Albi Code canton …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kanton Cordes-sur-Ciel — Region Midi Pyrénées Département Tarn Arrondissement Albi Hauptort Cordes sur Ciel Einwohner 3.842 (1. Jan. 2008) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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