Town in Aveyron (12)
Population: 11,800 (Catonétois)
Cyril Lignac (chef)
Frédéric Hantz (football coach)
Zinédine Zidane (honorary citizen of the town, owns a second home there)
The town is known for its delicious specialties, including aligot, tripous, Aubrac meats, cheeses (Laguiole, Roquefort, vieux Rodez), and Marcillac wines.
Onet-le-Château offers various sports opportunities such as Onet-le-Château Football and Vélo 2000 Onet. Events include Paris-Nice, GP du Midi Libre, Transcatonétoise (half marathon), U13 international football tournament, and Cycl'Onet (cyclosportive).
Onet-le-Château is the economic hub of the Greater Rodez conurbation. The town's business parks employ more than 6,800 people, contributing significantly to the economic strength of not only Onet-le-Château but also Greater Rodez. Key industries include Sebazac Distribution (supermarkets), Société fromagère and Société laitière de Rodez (dairy), and SA Fabre Rudelle (automobile).
Onet-le-Château hosts various festivals, including Fête des Quatre Saisons (June), Fête des Costes Rouges, Fête d'Onet village, Skabazac (reggae festival stopped in 2011), and Rire Onet (comedy festival).
Websites / Social Media:
Tourism Website: www.rodez-tourisme.fr
ONET-LE-CHÂTEAU AND CYCLING
Bordering on Rodez, Onet-le-Château has yet to host the Tour de France but has stages of Paris-Nice and the Grand-Prix du Midi-Libre to its name. In 2012, the Race to the Sun peloton set off from Onet-le-Château towards Mende for a stage won by Dutch rider Lieuwe Westra, who finished second in that year's race. He sadly died in January 2023. It was ten years ago that the Midi Libre stopped here for a time trial won by Spaniard Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano.
Style: Fortified castle
Listed as: Historical Monument in 1977
Legend has it that during the construction of the castle, a dark force would demolish at night what had been built during the day. The legend came to an end when a fire engulfed the building site and the Girma brothers, presumed arsonists, were burnt to death in Rodez. The current building was constructed in 1518-1519 on the remains of the old castle. Originally, it served as a summer residence and refuge for the canons of the cathedral chapter during epidemics. Later, during the French Revolution, it was seized and now belongs to the commune.
The castle consists of three wings: the dwelling to the south, the chapel to the east, and a ruined wing to the north, enclosed by a curtain wall to the west. Its overall layout resembles that of a fortified castle, with three corner towers and a square tower. The gateway, located in the centre of the curtain wall, is topped by a bretèche and flanked by turrets pierced with gunports, which date the gateway and the building around 1500.
Château de Canac
Construction: 15th and 16th centuries
Style: Gothic, Renaissance
Listed as: Historical Monument in 1991
In the 16th century, the château belonged to Blaise Sicard (1486-1554), an officer of Louis XI and a consul of Rodez multiple times between 1534 and 1551. Francis I stayed here in 1533 during his journey to Rodez. Over the years, the château changed owners until it was bought by Paul Bugard in 1903, who then initiated its restoration under the guidance of the departmental architect, Henri Pons.
The château has a medieval structure with four corner towers and a stairway turret. The Gothic, French Renaissance, and Italian influences are evident in its architecture. The main building consists of two stories, and there is a wing at a right angle to the north-west. The north-east side of the main building dates back to the second half of the 15th century, while the rest is from the early 16th century. The entrance is through a 19th-century double gateway, accessible to carriages and pedestrians. The château is constructed using Marcillac stone, a local pink sandstone, and has straight-cut shale slate roofing or flaked Cayrol slate for the conical roofs.
The château serves as a guest house.
Saint-Joseph l'Artisan Church
Construction: 20th century
Listed as: Historical Monument in 2005
Architect: Gérard Sacquin
Onet-le-Château underwent significant urban expansion between 1960 and 1970. The bishopric commissioned architect Gérard Sacquin (1924-1982) to design a new church, and the site chosen was Chante-Coucou. The foundation stone was laid in 1962, and the new parish was established in 1964.
The architectural quality of the church is primarily attributed to its construction method, the honeycomb frame, inspired by frames invented by Philibert Delorme, with inventive contributions from Aveyron carpenter Charles from Bouillac.
Marcillac Wines To the west of Rodez, at the foot of the Aubrac mountains, Marcillac is the most important appellation in Aveyron, and for a long time was the only one to benefit from AOC status. Historically linked to the Abbey of Conques, it is located in the natural region of the Vallon de Marcillac, a depression bordered by cattle and sheep farming areas. In these foothills of the Massif Central, the winters are harsh, but the summers are dry and hot. The vineyards are planted on the best exposed slopes of narrow valleys, which are generally very steep and have often been terraced. The terroir is characterised by its purplish-red soils, rich in iron oxides known as rougiers. The main grape variety in the appellation, fer-servadou, known here as mansois, produces a highly original wine that is both tannic and highly aromatic.