Lodève isn't very big (about 7,000 people), but it packs in a few sights. Its most arresting is the Cathédrale Saint-Fulcran in place de l'Hôtel de Ville, which has 6th-century foundations but was built mainly during the 13th and 14th centuries. It's an impressive example of Gothic architecture, with a large chancel and, in a side chapel, the final resting place for 84 bishops of Lodève. The church makes a magnificent backdrop for the choral concerts that are held throughout the year.
The 16th- to 17th-century mansion formerly belonging to the Cardinal de Fleury has since become home to Lodève's main museum, Musée Fleury, at square Georges Auric (tel. 04-67-88-86-10). Within this handsome building are two distinct collections: one displaying the archaeological history of Lodève, the other exhibiting works by artists including Braque, Dufy, Soutine, and Léger, as well as temporary exhibitions. Admission is 7€ adults; 5.50€ students; free for children 11 and under. It's open Tuesday through Sunday 10am to 6pm.
Just 8km (5 miles) east of Lodève is a wonderfully preserved marvel of the Middle Ages: the 12th-century Prieuré St-Michel de Grandmont (tel. 04-67-44-09-31; www.prieure-grandmont.fr). Although it is worth coming here just to see the priory's beautifully stark architecture and cloisters, the main reason to visit is to explore the 35 hectares (86 acres) of surrounding parkland, where you'll find a series of dolmens, megalithic tombs dating from 2,000 B.C. On a clear day you can even see the Mediterranean coastline from the top of the hill. The priory is also a popular place for summertime events, including concerts, markets, and organized walks through the hills. Guided visits cost 6.20€ adults and 3.80€ children. It's open daily 10am to 3pm January to May; 10am to 4pm October to December; and 10am to 5pm June to September.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.