Castres is one of the main town of Tarn in the Midi-Pyrenees, and accounts for a population of 46,000 inhabitants. It lies near the Montagne Noire and the Monts du Sidobre, an exceptional granite site. A tributary of the Tarn River, the Agout, runs through the town from the north to the south. Very attractive for tourism, the town has an important historical and cultural capital.
The name of the town comes from the word castrum in Latin, which means “fortified place”. Indeed, Castres has ancient origin and grew up round the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Benoît which may be built in AD 810. The place became an important stop on the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. During the next centuries, the town had ups and downs in term of well-being. Then, the 16th century was the beginning of one of the most prosperous time, with splendid mansions built which participated to the rebirth of Castres. To the cultural blossoming that occurred during these times, there was also an increasing wealth, due to the work of craftsmen of wool, leather and paper. The town was really known for its textile industry.
The next centuries left remarkable sites and buildings. This made of Castres a beautiful town where to live, with for instance a palate prolonged by a sumptuous garden à la française drawn by Le Nôtre, a covered market and an amazing Grand-Place (town square). Today, important work is planned to set off the architectural and the town-planning patrimony.
Nowadays, the traditional statecraft of textile, granite and wood sector mixes with more recent activities such as mechanics, pharmacy and cosmetology.
Tarn is a peaceful department. The town of Castres offers you the right balance between the tranquillity and the agitation of the town. Unlike many big towns, Castres has a majority of houses and only 33% are apartments. Furthermore, the properties are quite large with 40% of them having 3 bedrooms or more.
Since December 2007, the prices have been decreasing slightly. At the beginning of March 2009, the price to buy a property in Castres was about €1,350/ s qm, which is cheap in comparison to the national average of around €3,200/s qm. But surprisingly, even with cheap prices, it seems that the proportion of second homes is low. Indeed, only 2% of the whole properties are second homes.
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It is really curious to see that only few people invested in Castres. Though, it has a privileged situation to spend relaxing holidays, with the warm sun of the south, the fantastic nature, several lakes for bathing and many others…
Rugby: this sport is really popular in the south, perhaps even more than the football in certain areas. The town likes to point out its character, and character doesn’t lack on the pitch in Castres! Rugby is really the king of sports there, and the rugby ball continues to make generations of supporter dream and vibrate!
Atmosphere: the show is also in the streets: the welcoming atmosphere of the traditional markets where you can find local products, the conviviality of the shopping streets and of course the sunny terraces of bars and coffee houses. What a pleasure to have a property in such a warm place!
Nature: on the heights of Castres, the Sidobre (a granite area) offers amazing and exceptional landscapes. Strange monolithic of another times punctuate its tracks. The mount of Lacaune is a subtle land, where water becomes by turns thermal, mineral or choppy. The intact and silent forests of the Montagne Noire offers a giant panorama to Castres and is the privileged area of hikers and dreamers. Thus, you will find different landscapes, which will please everyone.
The Montagnès leisure centre: this marvellous 4 ha. lake lies in a green setting well-equipped, with a sand beach and games in the water. A reserved area is dedicated for fishery and several hiking tracks, mountain bikes circuits, a health course and a mini-golf are made for those who want to move! An thus, only 8km from Castres!
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