An ideal position of defence perched on a high outcrop and protected by a loop in the River Aveyron; the ancient city of Rodez was founded nearly 2000 years ago.

The old town, once surrounded by ramparts, can be explored on foot: just raise your eyes and admire buildings dating from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance period (the Bishop’s palace c. XVII, the former Jesuit College, the houses of Armagnac and the Annunciation).

The jewel of Rodez is, of course, the flamboyant, Gothic-style Cathedral of Notre Dame (c. XIII– XVI). Built in pink sandstone and awesome in size, it towers 30 meters high, 107 meters long and 37 meters wide. In the past, the west face formed part of the ramparts, confirming the impression of a formidable fortress.

The Fenaille Museum is another must. The Rouerge museum of archaeology and history, unique in France, houses an amazing collection of standing stone statues. The building itself combines Renaissance architecture and modern creativity; the collections are beautifully laid out and lead you on an exciting journey through time.

The Denys Puech “Beaux Arts” Museum awaken our interest in the talents of this local celebrity who became the director of the Villa Medicis. The museum welcomes many fascinating temporary exhibitions of contemporary art.

On the magnificent former site of the Charterhouse convent is the Rodez National Stud Farm, which is also open for visits.

Many interesting landmarks are shown on the map available from the Tourist Office, and guide your trip through times past in this delightful area. The two fortified churches of Sainte Radegonde and Inières should not be overlooked; they serve as reminders of the troubled times our forebears lived through. A number of châteaux enhance roads and tracks.

Rodez is renowned for horse riding and national events are held at the “Site de Combelle”. An 18-hole golf course, 3 cinemas, 3 swimming pools, the Vabre Leisure Park, bowling, go carting and squash – there’s something for everyone!

Rodez is right in the heart of the Averyon region, and is ideally placed for country holidays and exploring the wealth and variety of this fabulous Department.

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