[Limoges is Lovely]


'...Mr. Silvero/ With caressing hands, at Limoges/ Who walked all night in the next room.' T.S. Eliot, Gerontion, (London 1919) ll. 23-25

Somehow I had been persuaded to overlook Limoges for a long time. I have no idea why. It’s a fabulous town with an awful lot going for it. Best of all, it’s ‘manageable’. You can spend a relatively short time there and get to know the possibilities – plenty of them.

[Rue de la Boucherie, Limoges]
Rue de la Boucherie, Limoges with the 15th C. Saint-Aurélian chapel 

I recall hearing that there ‘was not a lot of old stuff’ in Limoges. This is easy to believe owing to the reports of the ‘Great Fire of Limoges‘ in 1864. This appears to have been perhaps not as great as advertised. However, although I freely confess, I have only spent about 12 consecutive hours in  this provincial city, there’s an awful lot of old stuff!

Key monument of the city, the Saint-Etienne cathedral is a remarkable example of Gothic art. Of particular interest for visitors are the north portal of Flamboyant Gothic style, the Renaissance rood screen and the three tombs of the chancel.

Adjacent to the cathedral are the gardens of the Bishop’s palace laid out as magnificent terraces overlooking the River Vienne. This is a wonderful place for a picnic or just a walk to admire the plants of the botanical garden.

The Diocese municipal museum is located in the former Bishop’s palace. This is home to collections of Limousin enamels and Impressionist paintings

There’s also the Gare de Limoges Bénédictins with TGV connections to Paris in the north and Toulouse in the south. It’s justifiably world-famous for being a really lovely building!

Les Halles in Place de la Motte is a wonderful food market where a super-abundance of fresh produce is available daily.

There’s some fabulous restaurants in the centre of the town offering a wide range of cuisines. You are going to be spoilt for choice. Beware of Sunday and Mondays, however, when more or less everything will be closed! On other days, take a look around the little streets and you’ll find a wealth of interesting businesses including some fabulous enamel items. Some of the world’s finest enamel work has come from Limoges.