Rodez, a town of culture in Aveyron
It is not for nothing that Rodez has the title ‘the land of art and history’ !
From the winding paths of the public park to the narrow side streets of the old town, from the Corten steel of the Soulages Museum to the pink sandstone of Rodez Cathedral, and from the enormous stone surface of the Esplanade des Rutènes to the modest charm of the little squares found in its historic heart, Rodez has the perfect blend of tradition and modernity.
Layoule, at the foot of the town, has been set up to take full advantage of the banks of the river Aveyron: games for the children, picnic tables, hiking trails...
Did you know ? The town's inhabitants call the centre of Rodez ‘the peak’. Well, you do have to climb to get there !
EXPLORING RODEZ DURING YOUR STAY
THE HISTORIC CENTRE, FOLLOW THE ARROWS
One of the best ways of exploring the city is to follow the circular route around the historic centre.
This route through the heart of the town has been designed to teach you about its history. Start at the tourist office in the Place de la Cité, where you will find a map to lead you through the streets of the town towards the cathedral, the Bishop’s palace and the Armagnac house... Let yourself be guided into the nooks and crannies of the town where you will uncover all of Rodez’s hidden marvels.
THE UNMISSABLE RODEZ CATHEDRAL
You will at some point come upon Rodez Cathedral. Whether you wish to take a moment for quiet reflection or simply look around, a visit to this Gothic cathedral is a must. Its construction took no less than three hundred years! The atmosphere within is enchanting: a vast organ, ancient and contemporary stained glass, lavishly decorated stalls, the altarpiece, the chapel...
Did you notice? The cathedral can only be entered from the side; there is no entrance opening onto the Place d’Armes. There is a good reason for this: its façade used to be part of the town’s ramparts.
OUR TIP FOR YOUR VISIT :
Climb up the bell tower! Rodez Cathedral’s 87-metre-high bell tower overlooks the whole town. From the top you have a 360° view of Rodez and the surrounding countryside, the Lévézou and Aubrac plateaus... There are a number of stopping points on the way up, including terraces called ‘planets’, the bell loft, the furnace room... Undoubtedly a happy holiday memory for you and your children.
Please enquire at the tourist office, as the 400-step climb to the top is not open every day.
Stroll through the town and take in its atmosphere, by sipping a drink on the terrace of one of the many cafés, or by window shopping...
THE SOULAGES MUSEUM... AND OTHERS!
Whether you are an art lover or not, you must pay a visit to the Soulages Museum. Art, exceptional architecture and gourmet cuisine are all to be found here in one single place.
And after your visit, why not stroll through the park and watch your children play?
This is not the only museum either: your walk through Rodez will also take you to the Denys-Puech Museum, and the Fenaille Museum where, among other artefacts, you will find Europe’s largest collection of menhir statues.
The architecture of every one of these buildings is also noteworthy.
VISIT THE MARKET
The market takes place on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. It is a real treat to stroll among the local farmers’ stalls and to discover the regional specialities. You will soon be drawn to the scent of ‘farçous’ (meat and Swiss chard patties) or ‘aligot’ (cheese and mashed potatoes) being made in front of your eyes. Give in to temptation; everything is on hand for you to prepare a picnic with specialities from Aveyron. If you have time, join the locals on the terrace of a café; watch the world pass by, and listen to the residents’ sing-song accent...
... AND THEN GO FOR A PICNIC BY THE RIVER
Head down to the bank of the river Aveyron in Layoule to enjoy the fresh water and indulge in your Aveyronian picnic. Follow the hiking trail to get there.
Note that the tourist office offers a number of themed, guided tours.