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Overview

The Limousin region is on the western slopes of the Massif Central, encircling the city of Limoges, whose name is synonymous with the finest porcelain. Its quiet and uncrowded rural landscape is scattered with stone market towns and farming villages with their old churches and abbeys, and occasional chateaux. These are surrounded by rolling green meadows of sheep and cattle, and on its wide moors are the breeding farms of the Anglo-Arab horse, which originated here. Riding is a major sport, but the area is also popular for biking and hiking. The region’s numerous lakes and rivers offer canoeing, sailing, windsurfing and excellent trout ...

The Limousin region is on the western slopes of the Massif Central, encircling the city of Limoges, whose name is synonymous with the finest porcelain. Its quiet and uncrowded rural landscape is scattered with stone market towns and farming villages with their old churches and abbeys, and occasional chateaux. These are surrounded by rolling green meadows of sheep and cattle, and on its wide moors are the breeding farms of the Anglo-Arab horse, which originated here. Riding is a major sport, but the area is also popular for biking and hiking. The region’s numerous lakes and rivers offer canoeing, sailing, windsurfing and excellent trout fishing. The hills of Corrèze, Creuse and Haute Vienne are cut by gorges that are not only scenic attractions, but invite those who enjoy canyoning. But amid all this natural wild land and rural life arose two highly sophisticated industries – fine porcelain and the premier name in tapestries. The latter began in the 1580s with the arrival of Flemish weavers, who took refuge in Aubusson and set up workshops. Their carpets and tapestries soon became the preferred coverings to warm the walls and floors of palaces throughout Europe. The porcelain industry began two centuries later with the important discovery of kaolin deposits near Limoges. With this raw material, the French were able to produce the high quality dinnerware that had previously been the secret of the Chinese. Its production continues today, and the Musée National Adrien Dubouche contains the most important porcelain collection in the world. One of the worst atrocities committed by the Nazis in France occurred in the village of Oradour-sur-Glane, whose entire population was massacred. The village has been left as it was, as a memorial.

Juliette Rogers
About the Expert

Juliette Rogers is coauthor of the guidebooks Eating New England: A Food Lovers Guide to Eating Locally, Secret Providence and Newport, and two Thomas Cook guides on France.

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Juliette Rogers for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: The Limousin region is located in the middle of Western France and is divided into three departments: Haute-Vienne, Creuse, and Correze
  • Language: French, Occitan
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer and fall for outdoor sports and local festivals; late September for the garden festival at Jardin de Liliane