Say Limoges and everyone thinks of porcelain. The fragile pottery from the capital of Haute-Vienne is world-famous. The arts and crafts have been practiced since the 18th century. Much older is the technique with which porcelain is usually decorated and finished: enamel. Limoges understands that art since the 11th century. Both crafts require high temperatures. For that reason Limoges is called the 'city of fire arts'.
Limoges is a medium-sized city. In the historic center (Village de la Boucherie), the small medieval streets have pretty half-timbered houses. Around it, there is a modern shopping center with pedestrian streets. The art deco train station of Limoges, Bénédictines, appears in the Top 5 of the most beautiful stations in the world. If you like porcelain, you should definitely visit the National Museum Adrien Dubouché.
Rolling landscapes with vast forests and beautiful places such as Bellac, Saint-Yrieix-la-Perche and Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat, with its magnificent bridge over the Vienne. Mortemart, with its old covered market, is also worth seeing. Mortemart is located in a beautiful nature reserve of the Monts de Blond, where we find prehistoric traces in the form of menhirs. A special itinerary has been set up to visit them. Here you wil also find the the museum village of Montrol-Sénard. A wash house, a classroom, a communal bread oven, a smithy and much more take us on a nostalgic journey into everyday life in the 19th century.
The events of a more recent history can be seen in a frightful manner in Oradour-sur-Glane. A group of the Waffen SS carried out an unimaginable punitive expedition during the Second World War, with 642 victims. Out of respect for the victims, the village was remained in its deserted and ruined state from those days. Oradour-sur-Glane is today one of the main centers of commemoration of the Second World War, similar to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.
Enough culture and history. There is much more to see and do from your holiday home in Haute-Vienne. The Reynou animal park, located in a beautiful natural environment, is now home to panda bears. The lakes of Saint-Pardoux and Vassivière offer active and passive water entertainment. Another versatile lake is called 'Espace Hermeline', about 35 km south of Limoges, in the Périgord Limousin national park. You will find a great trail to do in 'Vélorail', a five-person bike that moves through the landscape with a strong pedaling over rails. Two more favorite attractions for the children: the City of Insects in Nedde and Féeriland, a French version of Madurodam, a stone's throw from Oradour.
Not only the porcelain and the enamel art are widely known and appreciated. The red-brown Limousin cows that we encounter everywhere in the hilly landscape have a good reputation. They have a good life, in family, always outside in the pasture. Then we find them in many variations in the many restaurants in the Haute-Vienne, where their own beef is the local specialty.