Perched on a rocky peak at an altitude of 627 metres, the capital of Aveyron invites lovers of built heritage to discover its many architectural and artistic treasures.
The emblem of Rodez, the splendid Cathedral of Our Lady, built between the 13th and 16th centuries out of pink sandstone, is a masterpiece of Gothic art. Topped by a magnificent wrought bell-tower in the Flamboyant Gothic style, this fortress-style historic monument, with two massive towers on either side of the western façade, contains a stone jube and carved oak stalls from the 15th century, as well as a 17th-century organ case.
Near the cathedral, discover the many attractions of the old town: the bishop's palace and its horseshoe staircase, the 15th-century Corbières and Raynalde towers, the pedestrianised shopping streets and the superb medieval and Renaissance houses, like for example the houses of Benoît, Guitard, Armagnac and Annonciation. There's so much to see in Rodez's historic centre.
When it comes to culture, you have the choice between the Fenaille Museum, with its remarkable collection of statue-menhirs and exhibitions about Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance; the Denys-Puech Museum of Fine Arts, with its collections of 19th and 20th-century sculptures and paintings, alongside temporary exhibitions of contemporary art; the Soulages Museum, with its collection of over 500 works and documents by the painter Pierre Soulages, who was born in Rodez.
The main event of the summer, the Estivada, an inter-regional festival of Occitan cultures which takes place in the last week of July, offers five days of music, singing, theatre, literature, storytelling, poetry, dance, cinema and conferences, all in a friendly atmosphere!