|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the French Wikipedia. (December 2008)|
|Western façade of Rodez Cathedral|
|Mayor||Christian Teyssèdre (PS)
|Elevation||501–643 m (1,644–2,110 ft)
(avg. 627 m or 2,057 ft)
|Land area1||11.18 km2 (4.32 sq mi)|
|- Density||2,195 /km2 (5,690 /sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||12202/ 12000|
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
|2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.|
Existing from at least the 5th century BC, Rodez was founded by the Celts. After the Roman occupation, the oppidum (fortified place) was renamed Segodunum, while in late Imperial times it was known as Civitas Rutenorum, whence the modern name. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, it was captured by the Visigoths and then by the Franks, being also ravaged by the Arabs in 725. Later it was occupied by the armies of the Dukes of Aquitaine and of the Counts of Toulouse. English troops occupied Rodez during the Hundred Years War.
However, in medieval times the city's history was marked by strong rivalry between the Counts and the Bishops of Rodez, who exerted their authorities in different sectors of the city, divided by a wall. The counts were able to defy the royal French authority until the submission of count John IV by the future King Louis XI in the 15th century. In the following century bishop François d'Estaing built the Rodez Cathedral.
The last count of Rodez, Henry VI of Rodez, who became Henry IV of France, sold his title to Royal Crown in 1589. The city remained a flourishing merchant centre up to the 18th century, but it lost much of its importance when Villefranche-de-Rouergue was made prefecture capital in the wake of the French Revolution.
The town center is almost exclusively pedestrian and is filled with history, as well as shops and local artisans.
- The Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rodez. One of its features is a completely closed western wall, which was part of the city defenses.
- The Chapelle Saint-Martin.
- The Musée Fenaille: a historical and archaeological museum
- Church of Saint-Amans (12th century, rebuilt in 1758–1761). The interior is in Baroque style. In the choir stalls are 16th-century tapestries representing the miracles of Saint Amans. The interior also houses a 15th-century Pietà and a statue of the Trinity (16th century).
- The Bishop's Palace.
- The Musée Denys-Puech.
- The "Musée Pierre Soulages" (under construction, opening 2013).
- The Sacré Cœur church.
The agglomeration 'Grand Rodez' comprises eight towns : Rodez, Onet-le-Château, Druelle, Luc-la-Primaube, Le Monastère, Olemps, Sainte-Radegonde and Sébazac-Concourès.
There are three weekly farmers' markets. On Wednesday mornings the market is located in Place du Bourg. On Saturday mornings, the market expands into Place de la Cité and Place Emma Calvé (behind the Cathedral). On Friday evenings there is a small farmers' market on the Parking du Sacré Cœur.
Several restaurants serve local specialities, notably aligot, farçous, tripoux, and Roquefort, Laguiole, and Cantal cheeses, as well as red wine from the nearby village of Marcillac. Fouace is a breakfast item, a sweet bread that can be found in many local bakeries.
- Rodez is traditionally an agricultural trade center.
- The German industrial group Bosch has a factory that employs over 2,000 people.
- Rodez has one of the lowest unemployment ratings in France (under 5%).
Rodez is served by the nearby Rodez Marcillac Airport, located within the commune of Salles-la-Source. There are daily trains to Paris and Toulouse, as well as other trains and buses connecting Rodez to smaller towns. Once in town, options for getting around include car rental, the local bus system (Agglobus), or on foot. The pedestrian downtown (centre ville) is paved in cobblestone streets lined with buildings that date hundreds of years.
- François Kevorkian, DJ and music producer, was born in Rodez.
- Bernard Laporte, rugby union coach and former French Secretary of State for Sport, was born in Rodez.
- Pierre Soulages, painter, engraver, and sculptor, was born in Rodez.
Music and festivals
There are several music venues and festivals in or near Rodez. Music venues La Guinguette and Le Studio often host concerts, as does the local amphitheatre, and the local Maisons des Jeunes et de la Culture of Rodez and Onet-Le-Château.
Skabazac is probably the best-known music festival, and it takes place in mid-June. Just on the outskirts of Rodez in a town called Sébazac, Skabazac attracted over 30,000 people in 2010, when Cypress Hill headlined. In 2011 the festival's 13th edition was cancelled due to a lack of government funding. In midsummer the Occitan festival, called Estivada, takes place over several days. The festival promotes Occitan culture with food, cultural displays, and live music. The association 12 Touch organises festivals in Luc La Primaube annually. These festivals are Arts en Scène and Eklekzic.
Rodez is home to Rodez AF (called le Raf by its fans) of the Championnat National (Third Division). The women's team is in the First Division and are known as les Rafettes. Rodez also has rugby, basketball and handball teams.
- Official website (French)
- A Tour of Rodez
- Unofficial Guide to the Rodez Airport
- 12 Touch
- The Amphitheatre
- Office of Tourism in English
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