Stage town for the fifth time Prefecture of Aveyron (12)
Population: 26,400 (Ruthénois, Ruthénoises), 58,500 for the 8 communes of Rodez Agglomération
Specialities: aligot, tripous, Aubrac meats, cheeses (Laguiole, Roquefort, old Rodez), Marcillac wines, farçous (chard and sausage meat patties), old Rodez (cheese), Mandarelle (cake).
Personalities: Abbé Carnus (physicist), Camille Douls (Sahara explorer), Pierre Soulages (painting, 19th century), Marshall Ferdinand Foch, Jean Moulin (prefect of Aveyron), Louis Bouloumié (inventor of the Vittel thermal baths), Cyril Lignac (starred chef), Zinédine Zidane (shareholder of the Rodez-Aveyron football club for 3 years), Ginette Mazel (basketball, 1980s), Bertrand Delanoë (former Mayor of Paris, former student of Rodez high school)
Sport: Stade Rodez Aveyron (rugby, Fédérale 1), ROC Handball Aveyron (Men's National 1), Stade Rodez Aveyron Basket (Men's National 2), Rodez Aveyron Football (women's team in 1st division, men's in CFA). Events : Rouergue Rally, Jumping international in Combelles, L'Octogonale Grand Fondo, French championship of eight pin bowling.
Economy: 3,800 companies, more than 35,000 jobs: agri-food and agro-resources, mechanics, IT and publishing (including RAGT, Bosch, RM Ingénierie, Sopra Group), higher education, tourism (more than 60,000 overnight stays in the summer season)
Festivals: Estivada (Occitan music festival), International Folklore Festival of Rouergue, Rire Onet (comedy festival)
Labels: Occitania Grand Site, Land of Art and History, 3 flowers. Villes et villages où il fait bon vivre, Land of the Games 2024.
Websites: https://www.ville-rodez.fr/ / https://www.rodez-tourisme.fr / https://www.rodezagglo.fr/ / https://aveyron.fr / https://www.laregion.fr
At the top of the list of towns in Occitania for three years in a row according to the Association of towns and villages where life is good, Rodez is a sporty, cultural, dynamic, supportive town committed to nature. With its high quality of life, the town of Rodez will soon have a covered market in the heart of the town, almost 150 years after the first covered market appeared on the Rodez hill. The future covered market will be located a few metres from the site of the old covered market hall. It will be a place to live, to meet and to share, where conviviality, authenticity and quality will be combined, words that mean a lot to the population. Food shops and a brasserie will offer quality local products, which are increasingly popular today. This pioneering project will allow the people of the region and all visitors to Rodez to taste the flavours of Aveyron, a gastronomic department with many unmissable culinary specialities.
RODEZ AND CYCLING
Greg Van Avermaet's blossoming
For Greg Van Avermaet, one of the best finishers of his generation, everything started to click in 2015 in Rodez with a first stage win in the Tour de France that put an end to his reputation as a brilliant but unlucky rider. That day, the Belgian rider outwitted Peter Sagan in one of those battles that made their rivalry one of the most exciting in the peloton. Since then, Van Avermaet wore the Yellow Jersey for three days in 2016 and became Olympic champion in Rio before winning Paris-Roubaix in 2017 and wearing the Yellow Jersey again for eight days in 2018. In 2017, it was Michael Matthews who took his second stage victory in the Tour in the Aveyron prefecture. In 1984, a similar stage saw the only stage victory in the Grande Boucle of the late Pierre-Henri Menthéour. That year, nothing could stop the Renault-Gitanes team run by Cyrille Guimard. The day before Menthéour's victory, Pascal Poisson had won in Blagnac. Pascal Jules had already won a stage and the Renault team logically won the team time-trial in this edition. As for the Yellow Jersey, it was on the shoulders of another of their team-mates, Vincent Barteau. Soon he handed it over to team leader Laurent Fignon, who masterfully clinched his second Tour de France. Bernard Hinault finished ten minutes adrift.
Characteristics: displayed in nearly 90 museums, Pierre Soulages has produced more than 1,500 paintings on canvas and countless exhibitions on all continents. A major figure of abstraction, he is the best-known contemporary painter in the world. It is in Rodez, his native town, that he and his wife Colette have made two donations of almost 500 works. A museum in motion in an architecture designed and conceived by Roques and Passelac, associated architects, the museum has a vast exhibition room of national and international scope, allowing the discovery of Soulages' youthful works, the delicate Brous de noix, the printed work, the preparatory work for the stained-glass windows of Conques, as well as painting on canvas including The Outrenoir.
Special features: the museum receives around 140,000 visitors per year.
Label: Museum of France
Pierre Soulages was born on 24 December 1919 in Rodez. At a very young age he was attracted to Romanesque art and prehistory. At the age of 18, he went to Paris to prepare for the Beaux-Arts entrance exam. He was admitted, but disappointed by the mediocrity of the teaching, refused to continue and returned to Rodez. During his stay in Paris, he visited the Louvre Museum and saw exhibitions of Cézanne and Picasso, which were a revelation to him. Demobilised in 1941, he went to Montpellier and assiduously visited the Fabre Museum. This marked the beginning of a period of clandestinity during which he no longer painted. It was not until 1946 that he could devote all his time to painting. He then moved to the Parisian suburbs. His paintings, in which black dominates, are abstract and dark. They were immediately noticed as they differed so much from the semi-figurative and very colourful paintings of the post-war period. He found a studio in Paris, rue Schoelcher, near Montparnasse. In 1948, he participated in exhibitions in Paris and in Europe, notably at the Französische abstrakte malerei in several German museums. He was by far the youngest of this small group of painters who were the first masters of abstract art. From the 1950s onwards, he exhibited regularly in New York, where his works were acquired by the Guggenheim Museum and the MoMa. Today, Pierre Soulages is represented in more than 110 museums all over the world with over 230 paintings. From 1987 to 1994, he created the 104 stained glass windows of the abbey church of Conques, in his native Aveyron.
Construction: 1277 to 1542
Characteristics: dominating the town and the surrounding landscape, the high silhouette of the cathedral (87 metres) and its isolated bell tower is the emblematic element of the Rodez heritage. Construction began in 1277 and continued for nearly three centuries, but the building is very homogeneous thanks to the pink sandstone used. From the Radiant and Flamboyant Gothic to the Renaissance, the cathedral shows the best of the artistic production of each period. The building is distinguished by its fortress-like west façade, which was once part of the city walls, and by its bell tower. The bell tower is the work of the Rouergue architect Antoine Salvanh. The 87-metre-high tower was built between 1513 and 1526 at the request of Bishop François d'Estaing. Inside, note the richly decorated stalls (15th century); the monumental altarpiece in the Gaillard Roux chapel and its sculpted group of the entombment (16th century); the Blessed Sacrament chapel (16th century) surmounted by a tribune and adorned with a coffered vault; and the great organ case (17th century).
Special features: in 2002, the Monuments Historiques wanted to give the cathedral stained glass windows worthy of the building and entrusted their design to Stéphane Belzère, who completed the seven stained-glass windows in the choir in 2007.
Listing: Historical Monument since 1862
Fenaille Museum and Jouery Hotel
Construction: 16th century for the Hotel de Jouéry. The museum opened in 1937.
Style: Medieval and Renaissance.
History and characteristics: a pioneer in the oil industry and a great lover of art, Maurice Fenaille donated the Hôtel de Jouéry in 1929 to house the Rouergue Museum of Archaeology and History, created 170 years ago by the Société des lettres de l'Aveyron. The museum owes its international reputation to its exceptional collection of statue-menhirs, sculpted nearly 5,000 years ago.
Listing: Historical Monument since 1944
House of Armagnac
Construction: between 1525 and 1531
Characteristics: the mansion known as Maison d'Armagnac is the most remarkable example of Renaissance civil architecture in Rodez, with its curved corbelling, the decoration with numerous sculpted medallions and the Annunciation on the façade. It is a testimony to the economic vitality of the merchants of Rodez, to which the owner, Hugues Daulhon, belonged. Listing: Historical Monument since 1862
This is THE speciality of Aveyron par excellence. First, you have to choose your potatoes carefully: 1 kilo for 4 people. Then, you have to go to the local creamery: get 100 g of butter and 250 g of fresh cream. And finally, the cheesemonger will provide you with 400 g of fresh Laguiole cheese. To prepare an aligot, start by cutting the fresh cheese into strips. Leave it at room temperature while you prepare mashed potatoes. Add the butter and cream, salt and pepper. Once the mashed potatoes are hot and seasoned, add the cheese. Depending on your taste, a little crushed or finely chopped garlic can be added to the preparation of the aligot. This mash must be worked for a long time to obtain a very elastic texture. It is essential to let it melt, and ... turn, turn, turn with a spatula. Be careful, you must turn regularly and always in the same direction! Your arms will certainly be sore, which normal: aligot must be deserved.