The capital of the Limousin region of France, Limoges, sits on the banks of the river Vienne. The city is famed for its ceramics this is where the upper classes come to pick up their tableware and its locally-reared beef. Make sure to sample the regional cuisine at one of the citys many restaurants. Limoges was also historically a city of art, the birthplace of the Impressionist painter Auguste Renoir, and home to the writers Balzac and Moliere.
Limoges is compact enough to explore on foot and the traditional Cite quarter, which was once enclosed by fortified walls, is full of historic buildings and museums. Even if youve flown into the city, its worth taking a trip to the Benedictins train station to admire its shimmering copper dome and bell tower, art deco stained glass windows and neoclassical sculptures.
Top 5 cultural sights
- Limoges cathedral - There is plenty of artwork to admire in this Gothic church, which took more than 600 years to complete
- Chapelle Saint-Aurélien - A tiny, intricate chapel with medieval statues and Baroque works of art
- Jardin de LEveche - This botanical garden contains more than 1,200 plants and occupies several terraces overlooking the river
- Musée des Beaux Arts - Housed in the 18th-century bishops' palace, this huge collection of decorative artwork includes some lesser-known paintings by Renoir
- Adrien Dubouche National Porcelain Museum - An impressive art deco building housing 12,000 pieces of metalwork, glasswork and ceramics. The collection of Limoges porcelain is the worlds largest
Top 5 activities
- Aux délices de Mathilde - This food store has everything, from liqueurs and aperitifs from the distillery (which you can visit), to pork terrines made with meat from local black-bottomed pigs, artisan jams, mustard, pâtés and more
- Halles Centrales - A covered market of stalls selling local produce, from cheese to Limousin beef
- Paroles de Chef - This gourmet grocery store and restaurant also runs cookery and wine-tasting courses
- Aquarium du Limousin - This former underground reservoir is now home to 2,500 fish
- Rue de la Boucherie - A pedestrianized road containing many of the citys medieval half-timbered houses. The name comes from the butchers shops that lined the street centuries ago