Primitive episcopal palace, the Berbie nowadays houses Toulouse-Lautrec museum. First, Berbie derives from Catalan word bisbia, which means "bishopric"! The first bishop lived here in the 13th century. Bernard de Combret, one of the successor, transformed the humble house into a huge fortress, in order to defend the city. First, he put up a keep flanked by a main building.
We found on palace's first floor the ceremonial room where bishops welcomed guests; next floor, we had the private flats with the wardrobe, the study... of course, we had kitchens on the ground floor, with a room where needy people came and had a lunch: more than 100 hungry people came here each day! In the 17th century, bishops refit new fashionable rooms.
Our palace lost its defensive function and formal gardens were laid out in the courtyard. Nice, isn't' it? During the French Revolution, bishops definitively left Berbie palace. It was restored in the beginning of the 19th century.