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As soon as we settle in, we go for a walk to see what is in the immediate area. In this case, we knew the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral was nearby since we could see it from our hotel window. We had done a laundry so had been up and down the street by the hotel. Next we walked up and entered the cathedral, took some photos and then exited to explore the town.
Walked up and down charming medieval streets peeking in store windows. Finally we stopped at an outdoor cafe on the Place and had a kir while watching the proprietress's little dog, Nikki.
When the illumination came on at 10 PM, we repeated the circle of the cathedral and then discovered we could see the lighted church from our hotel room window. Wow.
BTW, in July there is a medieval market with jugglers and artisans of all sorts. That would be fun.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: Area around the cathedral
In the courtyard at the Maison Molonier is the old Well which has bas reliefs around it base. The outer walls are entered through a fine set of doors that lead to the courtyard. A little further the next street further south stands the Prefecture.
Updated Dec 21, 2009
Immediately north of the Cathedral stands the Episcopal Palace. One street beyond the southern side of the cathedral is the Chapel of the Jesuits. Both of these is are 17C. In the 20C the chapel became a school which M. Foch first attended as a youngster and adjacent is the Pl. named for him. The area and part of the buildings are the exposition grounds of the city. On the south side of the Chapel stands a fine statue and fountain created by Denys Puech (known as ). On the west side of the Chapel is the original entrance to the Chapel with a fine entrance with statues at the base.
Updated Dec 21, 2009
At the depth of the choir, just east of the nave, is an enormous extent of stalls, numbering 62, all beautifully carved in oak with misericords. They were created and installed in 1482 by Andre Sulpice, with added statues between sets of seats, such as one ofSt. Jacques of Compostella as a Pilgrim. Just north of the stalls is delicate casework which is the outersurface of the sacristy and hides that structure beyond.
Written Dec 18, 2009
The most attractive item is a 1523 group showing the Deposition with its attendants attired in the period of its creation. Not far off near the Altar, is a full length effigy of the Bishop Gilbert de Cantobre. In another chapel nearby are three sets of early paintings in groups of 6 showing what seem to be martyrs and associated or unknown events.
Written Dec 17, 2009
The oldest works in the church are sarcophagi from the earlier church which today are found near the beginning of the nave. The one from the 6thC shows 9 Apostles as bas-reliefs and both are of marble. Further up the nave on the right side is a large Mount of Olive retable from the 14thC with a central wooden Jesus praying as his Apostles sleep. Further on in the next chapels is an Annunciation kneeling before a simple Mary. In the most western Southern Chapel is a tall 16C statue of Mary holding the Child.
Updated Dec 17, 2009
The body of the cathedral was built in stages starting in 1277 with the absidium and part of the choir, followed in the latter part of the next century by transepts and the first two bays of the nave and the last finally being completing in the 15C. After this , at the end of that century the two elaborate doorways were created in the north and south nave walls.The long nave and east end make a prominent view. The lateral aspect has tall arcades, a short triforium and a clerestory with large bays containing sets of four part windows. Above the eastern end windows, the vaulting has a figured roofing. An ambulatory surrounds the eastern end with important fixtures insde. On the north, next west is the sacristy with attractive outer finishing, while further along in the north transept is what remains of a Jube (of 1470).. While in the South arm is a great Organ of the 17C with a 20m high embellished casing (“billet”)
Updated Dec 12, 2009
In the 14C a free standing Belfry was created at the Northeast edge of the church built to the top of its third level. The top three levels were added in 1525 in octagonal shape, with flamboyant carving and especially sculptures on the fifth level. The total height is 87 m and is the most outstanding aspect of the church.
Written Dec 11, 2009
The entrance to the Cathedral is via the main door in the Northern Nave through the portal of the Bishop. Here one sees a fine lintel and a tympanum with a Crowning of the Virgin, while the lintel below is decorated by scenes of the Nativity, an Adoration with Shepherds and the Magi and finally a Presentation at the Temple. Surrounding this there is a triple set of archivolts, no longer holding statues , while tightly applied is a minimal gable. Of equal quality but lesser prominence is the Southern Nave entrance created at the same time as that at the North.. It iscovered by a tall gable.and archivolts. Beside its doors are the outlines of statuary that up until the Revolution were completed with figures. Above the gable is a beautiful Rose window and above that is a plain top. The eastern end of the church is decorated by a pair of stone peopled sets of windows, with single added ones just lateral. and a rich vaulting above. A number of prominent gargoyles are also featured at the east . Ultimately in the 17C , a decorated upper west end was added, featuring a fronton.
Updated Dec 11, 2009
Notre Dame Cathedral is an amazing church. It catches your eye immediately because you drive up to a blank wall between the towers. It used to be part of the town fortifications so there are no windows on the western side. It is rather forbidding although the warm red brick offsets this aspect a bit.
You have to walk around to the side to enter but it is a lovely church inside. The following web site gives a virtual tour of Rodez and has several excellent photos of the cathedral as well as many other interesting things to do.
Updated Apr 20, 2007
Address: Center of town, you can't miss it