Discover the museums of Rodez.
The Soulages museum.
With almost 500 works and documents bequeathed by the artist Pierre Soulages during his lifetime, the Soulages museum promises a contemporary artistic adventure where shadow and light intermingle. A major figure of abstract art, Pierre Soulages is recognised as one of the greatest French painters for his work which celebrates variations on the colour black which he calls “black light” or “ultrablack“.
Inaugurated in 2014, the new jewel of Rodez is housed in an avant-garde Corten steel showcase. Soulages’ work is explored in all its forms, in a multitude of techniques and media, from canvas to paper, including glass, bronze and copper. An area covering 500 m2 is set aside for multiannual temporary exhibitions dedicated to other contemporary artists and movements.
The Fenaille and Denys-Puech museums.
Visit Notre-Dame de Rodez cathedral.
You can’t miss it when you arrive in Rodez: the cathedral overlooks the city and can already be seen from a distance! For more than 800 years, this great lady in pink sandstone has been part of the city’s landscape with its 87 m high tower, its exceptional gargoyles and stained glass windows.
Climbing the bell tower of Rodez cathedral remains a worthwhile experience. 400 steps will take you to the foot of the Madonna! After having ascended the many stages, a breath-taking view awaits you. You will enjoy a 360° panorama over the rooftops of Rodez and the surrounding countryside, the Lévézou and Aubrac plateaux.
Stroll through the historic city centre.
Behind the cathedral, Rodez city centre promises a charming stroll inside the old ramparts of the capital of Aveyron. As you wind your way through the city’s streets and squares, the historic centre tour takes you to the most beautiful mansions of the city in flamboyant Gothic and Renaissance styles.
On the Place de l’Olmet, the Maison d’Armagnac, an elegant 16th century building, is considered the finest example of civil architecture from the Renaissance. The “Annonciation” house on the Place du Bourg, as well as the Hôtel de Jouéry which houses the Fenaille museum, are fantastic examples of Renaissance art in Rodez. Don’t miss the so-called Portier house, rue de l’Embergue and its half-timbered facade or the Maison Benoît with its Gothic gargoyles and casement windows.
Escape to the countryside around Rodez.
Very close to the city centre, the banks of the Aveyron are the ideal location for a bucolic walk in the heart of the countryside. A sanctuary for birds, the Layoule natural sitehas a 5 km marked pedestrian loop that runs along the Aveyron river. This botanical tour is perfect for a family walk.
The eight municipalities of Rodez Agglomération provide great opportunities to explore country lanes and architectural treasures in the villages on foot or by bike. Lovers of old buildings will particularly appreciate the Onet-le-Château trail: a 9 km circuit which will take you through an exceptional heritage.
Enjoy Aveyron food.
You cannot come to Rodez without tasting the culinary delicacies of Aveyron! You’ll be surprised by the strong taste of the city’s famous cheese, “le Rodez” or “Vieux Rodez”. This round, hard cheese, reminiscent of Italian Parmesan, flavours many local dishes.
Take time to enjoy the authentic and creative cuisine of Christophe Chaillou, chef at Café Bras. Explore Rodez market to discover Aveyron specialities such as the traditional farçou, a chard pancake, or fricandeau, a tasty, ball-shaped country pâté.
Push open the door of an artisan baker to taste one of the sweet delicacies of Averyon such as gâteau à la broche (cake cooked over a spit), échaudés, a surprising aniseed cake or fouace, a round, orange blossom-flavoured brioche.