Rodez is an old town, the road network becomes narrower and narrower the closer you get to Vieux Rodez and the remains of the old fortress town
remain strongly present in the form of ramparts. Its city center is extended, along the many streets and pedestrian alleys between the places of Bourg, Olmet, La Cité or Madeleine, we discover typical houses in a historic setting most often preserved. Markets and fairs are held in these squares, while the Passage du Mazel hosts a daily trade in fresh, seasonal produce. The pedestrian streets, very concentrated in the old center, are today a place of life accompanied by many commercial signs . Beyond, Avenue Victor Hugo is a long, straight avenue lined with trees, leading to a central crossroads, Place d’Armes, giving access in particular to the boulevards located on the outskirts of the city center. Road traffic takes place all around the ramparts located on the boulevards of Estourmel, Belle Isle, Denys Puech and Flaugergues encircling the center and serving this historic heart by parallel streets.
The city of Rodez is one of the Grands Sites de Midi-Pyrenees . She is continuing her work to obtain the City of Art and History label and wishes to apply for Unesco World Heritage. Thus, the historic center – and the related developments – aim to meet the criteria of these institutions.
A city of the middle ages
On Place de l’Olmet, the Maison d’Armagnac, an elegant 16th century building, is considered the finest example of civil architecture in the Renaissance. The house known as the Annunciation on the Place du Bourg as well as the Jouéry hotel which houses the Fenaille museum are just as representative of Renaissance art in Rodez. Do not miss the so-called Portier house, rue de l’Embergue and its half-timbered facade or the Benoît house to the gothic gargoyles and casement windows. You can also discover the Denys Puech museum which is a Museum of Fine Arts mainly dedicated to sculpture, from the mid-nineteenth e nowadays .
Visit of the Soulages museum
Rich in nearly 500 works and documents bequeathed by the artist Pierre Soulages during his lifetime, the museum relieves promises a contemporary artistic adventure between shadow and light. Major figure in abstract art , Pierre Soulages is recognized as one of the greatest French painters for his work which celebrates the variations of the color black which he calls ” black-light ” or ” outrenoir “.
You cannot miss it when arriving in Rodez: the cathedral dominates the city and can already be seen from afar! For more than 800 years, this great lady in pink sandstone has been part of the Ruthenian landscape with its 87 m high tower, its exceptional gargoyles and stained glass windows.