Sunday, March 01, 2015

A few glimpses of Rodez: new and old

Striking view from the inside of the new Musée Soulages

Last weekend I got to play the tour guide to a friend of ours from Montpellier who barely knows Rodez. 

I'm proud to say that despite the glacial winds, she was duly impressed. 

I wish I had taken more photos, but I didn't want to slow her down with that. 

Other than in the museum, I also didn't want to take my gloves off.

We did two full afternoons of full-mode Rodez exploration, starting on Saturday with the Musée Soulages and tea at Café Bras. Even though "Soulages," as it is fondly called here, will soon have been open for a year, I still can't quite believe, even when I just walk past it, that Rodez is home to such a splendid modern art museum.

The cathedral bell tower in all its splendor

We moved on from the museum to the cathedral. Going up the stairway of the évêché is one of those things I only do if accompanied by a visitor, so the above is a view of the cathedral I had rather forgotten about. 

My friend was surprised that we could just wander into the Bishop's palace courtyard as we pleased, and it struck me that the cathedral has absolutely no surveillance either, at least at this time of year. 

Also, it never ceases to amaze me how few tourists one finds in Notre Dame de Rodez, despite its undeniable grandeur. We ran into only four other people inside -- quite a contrast to the teeming museum galleries.

I hope the many tourists coming into town to visit the Soulages museum aren't missing out on the city's huge and somewhat eerie cathedral. 


Sue Brady Ardington said...

This is such a lovely scene. I love your walkabouts.

Sarah said...

I can see that Rodez has plenty to see. I must remember that next time we are out and about in the region. :)

Aussie in France said...

I have to admit I've never been to Rodez. There are still a few pockets of France we have yet to discover.

Sara @ Simply Sara Travel said...

Rodez looks so beautiful! I'm planning a road trip primarily in the southern part of France this year, and have been looking into Basque, Languedoc, and Provence. I haven't really considered Aveyron, but reading this, maybe that's a big oversight! Are there any highlights in the area you recommend?

Becky Brown said...

The only time we ever seem to go to Rodez is to ferry people to and from the airport!! Next time we'll have to go a little earlier and take the time to explore the place a bit more.

Sally said...

Great photo of the cathedral tower. The modern art museum sounds intriguing. When I visited Rodez a year and a half or so ago, I noticed that (a) the cathedral is HUGE and there is a great contrast of modern and classic.

Phoebe @ Lou Messugo said...

What a tantalising little glimpse of Rodez, I wish you'd been able to take more photos for I've heard it's very beautiful. I haven't been there, the only place I've been to in Aveyron is Millau but I intend to recify that this summer...How interesting that you have a modern museum, I didn't realise Rodez was big enough for that sort of thing. Thanks for linking up again Betty.

Cathy Sweeney said...

So glad to know about this for future trips. The cathedral is gorgeous and how wonderful that it's not packed with tourists!

Christy Swagerty said...

So beautiful! The church and belltower are especially stunning, and I love your header photo! I hope the weather gets warmer for you soon! Good to find you on the link-up! #AllAboutFrance

Betty Carlson said...

Thank you all for your comments. Rodez is a great place to visit, especially since the stunning Musée Soulages has opened. Also wonderful are the many small villages in the area -- and the restaurants! Great food for amazing prices.

Sara, there is so much to see in the area, I wouldn't know where to begin! It depends on what you are looking for. A lot of people go to Aveyron and never go to Rodez, though, which is a pity.

Becky, I know other people in your case...they know the airport but not Rodez!

Phoebe -- The opening of the Pierre Soulages museum was years in the making. It is a bit controversial as people are not sure it will make it financially in the long run, but now that it is built, everyone seems very proud of it. I didn't get many photos that day but I have TONS in the archives (and many on this blog...)

Perpetua said...

Another place I would love to visit and I'd be heading for the empty cathedral rather than the packed art museum. :)

Betty Carlson said...

Perpetua -- Believe me, you would want to do both. The Soulages museum is an architectural and artistic wonder, and my use of "packed" was relative. "Packed" for a museum in Rodez, but nothing like the Louvre in July!