The Auvergne City of Limoges


Limoges is the capital of the Auvergne region and is probably most famous for its ceramic production. Situated on the river Vienne, the city is a must-visit for anyone with an interest in history, art or culture. The birthplace of the painter Auguste Renoir, Limoges has strong artistic links and this is apparent throughout this fascinating and attractive city. If you're staying in a French gite, you'll probably arrive in Limoges by car. Don't miss the fantastic Benedictins Station, though. Its Art Deco stained glass windows are stunning and, along with other architectural features, make this one of the most beautiful train stations in Europe. The Bishops' Palace Museum displays works by Renoir, the city's most famous son, as well as a wonderful collection of enamel work from over the years. After your visit, be sure to explore the nearby shops, boutiques and excellent restaurants as this is one of the most pleasant and upmarket parts of the city. Limoges has long been known for its enamel and porcelain and you can learn all about both at the Adrien Dubouchh National Museum of Porcelain. Housed in a beautiful Art Deco building, the museum has an impressive collection of exhibits. If a visit here whets your appetite; head next to the Four des Casseaux, located within the Royal-Limoges factory. You can see the old kiln and get a sense of the history of the porcelain industry in Limoges. Limoges is still very much a city that enjoys the finer things in life and the feeling you get when walking the streets is very much one of luxury and creativity. A lot of luxurious goods brands base their manufacture here and there are high-end workshops creating everything from hand-stitched designer leather shoes to haute couture dresses. Eating out in Limoges is a real treat. The local specialties include the local Limousin beef, which must be washed down with a fine Auvergne wine. If you're lucky enough to be around in autumn, the 3rd Friday of October sees the local food festival take place. La Frairie des Petits Ventres is a truly impressive spectacle with regional producers from all over Auvergene flocking to the city to show off their wares. You'll find the famous Limouisin beef, sausages, excellent hams and many other types of meat here, along with sweet treats, pastries, cakes, puddings and chocolates. Take advantage of the free samples offered to try out new foods and flavours then stock up on your favourites to take back to your French gite.