France Regions

The Limousin Region of France


Limousin

Limousin is a rural region hours south of Paris, east of Bordeaux. Major attractions are the huge national forests for camping, biking and hiking. A countryside drive means you’ll pass herds of chestnut red cattle and old oak forests. This very special oak is claimed solely by the house of Remy Martin. Aging in Limousin oak is what gives the Cognac its complex flavor.

A map of the Limousin region in France.
A map of the Limousin region in France.

you might find a few oldsters still speaking the local dialect of Occitan, but that’s an ever-rarer experience. The region is now part of Nouvelles-Aquitaine and is anchored by the small city of Limoges, known for porcelain-making, thanks to the fine clay of the area.

Read more at the French Government Tourist Office website.

Limoges

Capital of the Limousin region

This capital of the Limousin region, like many French towns in central France, dates back 2 millennia to the Romans, when it was called Augustorotum, after the Emperor Augustus. The city was among the earliest in France to be evangelized to Christianity, by St. Martial, in the 3rd century. Constant raids by German tribes had the city largely abandoned for centuries, until the Abbey of St. Martial was built, and his remains entombed.

Limoges became a center for music and arts from the 9th to the the 14th centuries, when its fortifications were breached and it was invaded by Edward the Black Prince. Today, Limoges is known worldwide for its porcelain industry. Limoges porcelain is made from kaolin, which is abundant in the area.  Les Halles market is packed with a range of food stuffs such as fois gras and noisette (a locally produced hazelnut liqueur).  Many visitors to the area arrive via train to Limoges original 1920’s era train station.

Perhaps the most unexpected fact about Limoges is its famed basketball team. Limoges was the first French city to deliver a 1st place win for France in the European basketball league, and hosts international basketball expos and tournaments to this day.

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