Limousin

 

map

 

Paradise of traditional rural France with its woodland, green hills and pasture land.
It is here that the famous Limousin cattle are bred with the local economy based on agriculture.
Canoeing, kayaking, fishing and sailing are popular here.

Situated almost totally in the Massif Central, on the first of January 2008, it comprised 740 743 inhabitants on nearly 17 000 km2.
The region has many springs, rivers and inland lakes particularly in the Creuse area known as the 'water tower' or 'chateau d'eau' of France.
Limoges is the largest city in the region and owes it name to the enamel and fine china trade.

 

Limousin is proud of its famous offspring!

Jacques Chirac, President of France, lived in Corrèze department

chir

Jean Giraudoux, novelist and diplomat, born in Bellac, in the Haute-Vienne

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Pierre-Auguste Renoir, painter, born in Limoges, Haute-Vienne

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Geoff Bunn, British artist lives in Limousin

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It consists of the 3 Départements of:

Corrèze (19), Capital: Tulle.

Corrèze extends in the South of the region Limousin. The department is partially covered by the Regional Natural reserve of Millevaches in Limousin. It offers varied landscapes, moors, gorges, valleys and forests which it will be pleasant to you to discover in the course of your stay. Numerous vestiges give evidence of the presence of the people on these lands for several centuries.
Brive, Tulle and Ussel, the most important three cities will know how to seduce you by the charm of their center, the quality of their reception and by the conviviality of the inhabitants.
Between Dordogne and Massif Central, Corrèze privileges the escape and eco tourism.

corr

 

Creuse (23), Capital: Guéret.

The Creuse, is a "département" in the center of France, completely natural, at the linguistic boundary of the "Oc" and the "Oil" languages.
You will hear about the ancient tapestry and see the present workshops; here you can discover sculptures in stone, made by François Michaud, in the monastry of Ahun; here you can run alongside famous rivers, such as the Creuse, the Thaurion and the Gartempe; come and discover our forests, wich are alike big gardens waiting to be discovered by you.

Artits have come to this area a long time ago : the shadow of George Sand still "floats" above the Creuse river; at Grozant you have a school for painters, ...so much has to be discovered by you in this part of France.
Many castels can be found, a proof that this area has a long history, at least thousand years old .

creuse

 

Haute-Vienne (87), Capital: Limoges.

Forest, lakes and countryside continue to attract tourists to the Haute-Vienne who enjoy a range of activities including walking, fishing, sailing, boating and skiing. The countryside is hilly and wooded, ideal for the famous Limousin breed of cattle.
Haute-Vienne is proud of its cultural & historical heritage with well preserved abbeys & Roman churches (Soulignac & Chateauponsac, see below), fortified castles (Chalus & Montbrun).
Limoges is the department's capital and has long been famous for its enamel and fine china production.

chato

 

 

 

Limousin lists 6 "most beautiful villages of France":

Collonges-la-Rouge (Corrèze)

Curemonte (Corrèze)
Mortemart (Haute-Vienne)
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curem
mor

Saint-Robert (Corrèze)

Ségur-le-Château (Corrèze)
Turenne (Corrèze)
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segur
ture

 

 

 

What to do?!

 

The old town of Oradour-sur-Glane: a moving and historical visit to this site about a massacre that took place in this town on Saturday 10th of June 1944. The town had been far from any centre of conflict, was not, nor had ever been an active resistance stronghold. The village has been left exactly as the Nazis left it after the tragedy.

ora

http://www.oradour.info/

 

Aubazine Adventure Park - situated at the Tourist Centre in Le Coiroux. Here amongst other adventurous pursuits you will find 5 completely safe aerial routes through the trees for visitors of all ages.

 

Les Jardins de Colette, in Varetz: a contemporary garden dedicated to Colette, the famous writer, who lived there and loved nature.

cole

http://www.lesjardinsdecolette.com/Acces-Contact.html

 

Ussel - a medieval town with a rich cultural heritage. It is a great base for exploring the many lakes, rivers and springs in the Haute-Correze. Activities include fishing, kayaking and exploration of the Gorges Chevanon.

 

Visit of Chateau d'eau, in Brive-la-Gaillarde: a light house in the middle of the lands! Gain height climbing to the top of this old water tower nowadays a Tourist Office. A wonderful panoramic view of the scenery around.

chatodo

 

 

Argentat – picturesque village where the River Dordogne runs through and where ancient stone houses line the banks, many of which have overhanging wooden balconies. The wide cobbled quayside just upstream from the bridge is an attractive feature.

 

Musée National de la Porcelaine Adrien Dubouche, in Limoges: this traditionally laid out museum has a good collection of ceramics that gives attention to the local industry. There is a good introductory film on the methods of production and an informative audio guide highlighting the more important and/or interesting exhibits.

dubou

 

More information and activities at http://www.frenchentree.com/france-limousin-events/

 

Festivals and Traditional Events

 

Festival de la Vézère: in Brive La Gaillarde, July and August. The Festival of Vézère originated in 1981 upon the initiative of Guy and Isabelle de Lasteyrie du Saillant and from the volition of fourteen local authorities and local mayors. The second Festival of Vézère sees the advent of such artists as the violinist Patrice Fontanarosa and the cellist Roland Pidoux. In 1984, Barbara Hendricks participates for the first time. Every edition of the Festival will be marked by the presence of international artists who will contribute to the quality and fame of the festival throughout the years until this day.

Thus, the Festival’s reputation has amplified. At present during the season 18 concerts are programmed catering to more than 8000 spectators in eleven different localities. This important cultural activity in rural areas attracts a very diversified public which significantly grows every year.

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http://en.festival-vezere.com/

 

Brive Plage Festiv'All: end of July-August. A selection of concerts taking place on Brive beach, attracting ever more young people.

bri

http://brive-plage.com/

 

 

 

Market Days

Limousin markets are a must. They are guaranteed to give one that truly French feeling. Full of interesting characters and wonderful produce, the noise and smells of French markets are like no other.
The larger markets are heaven on earth for foodies, with stall after stall offering fresh fruit and vegetables as well as locally reared meat and poultry.

It's best to get an early start when going to the region’s markets as most have packed up by lunchtime. You will often find the stall holders have baked, grown, raised or produced in some way the products they are selling. Most stall holders will be happy to share their knowledge and expertise with you to ensure you enjoy their product at its best.

 

Tulle

Wednesday & Saturday morning: general market, central square

Guéret

Thursday & Saturday morning: general market, central square

Limoges

Tuesday morning: general market at Le Vigenal, rue Halevy

Wednesday morning: general market at Pont St-Martial at Place Paul Parbelle

Thursday morning: general market at La Bastide, rue Léon Jouhaux and Corgnac, place du Commerce

Friday morning: general market at Beaubreuil, Place Jean Montalat

Saturday morning: general market at Place Marceau

 

More markets: http://limousin.angloinfo.com/information/18/markets.asp

 

 

 

The Gastronomy of Limousin

 

The Food

The region is known for its excellent meat including lamb, hams, duck and goose from which pates and foie gras are made. A variety of fresh water fish add to the cuisine. Not to forget the traditional violet mustard from Brive!

vio

Chestnuts and mushrooms, or cepes, truffles, and morilles are gathered in the forests and are used in numerous dishes. The area around Turenne is noted for its walnuts. Chocolate covered nuts, walnut cake, and walnut bread are just a few delicacies for which the region is famous.

The recipes within the region are characterised by hearty dishes and long-simmered stews. The area is also famous for its charcuterie, its sausages and patés often stuffed with the ever-present chestnut. Limousin beef, always naturally raised, has an international reputation along with the milk-fed veal. Paté de pomme de terre Limousin ( Limousin potato pie) takes this unassuming dish into new realms.

The region is also known for its fruit, and blueberries, strawberries, gooseberries, raspberries and black currants that are used to make liqueurs, jams, tarts, and pastries. Limousin is renowned for its Branceilles wine.

 

The Cheese

Local cheeses, some similar to Roquefort, you will sometimes only find in this region, with many local producers selling only at the local markets or direct from the farm. The cheese local to Les Hirondelles is La Joncheix. Similar to Cantal but with a fine taste all of its own. It can be bought only from the producer at the local markets or at the farm itself. The visit to the farm is worth the effort, here you will be taken down into the caves where the cheese is stored and go through the (compulsory) tasting session before making your final choice.

The region also has a plethora of traditional cakes and puddings such as the apple flaugnarde, cherry clafoutis (both batter-based cakes), Correze's special gaieties or the Creuse's almond gateau.

alm

 

Why don't you try an original, organic and healthy Limousin recipe? The Nettle Soup!

Warning! Never eat anything that you find in your garden or in the wild if you have any doubts over identification. Ask somone who knows about plants, about medicines or poisons to identify them for you. You could ask the local chemist. In France the Pharmacy will identify plants and funghi for you.

Secondly, make sure that any plants you collect could not have been polluted.

Thirdly, stinging nettles sting! Take care. It won't do you any lasting harm if you are stung my nettles, but it is pretty unpleasant. Once cooked, the nettle loses its sting. To collect your nettles you will need a pair of scissors and a pair of rubber gloves.

Enjoy!

 

Soupe aux Orties
Nettle Soup

Ingredients

 

 

- Oil or butter
- Onions
- Potatoes
- Nettles
- Garlic
- Salt
- Pepper, preferably crushed whole black pepper corns
- Stock or a stock cube
- Artichokes, optional

 

Preparation

nett

Saute gently
- Roughly chop the vegetables and the nettles.
- Put the butter or oil into a pan, then add the onions and brown gently, followed by the other vegetables, nettles pepper and salt.
- Add the stock or water and stock cubes to cover and simmer gently for about twenty minutes or until the potatoes are soft.

Blend
When the soup is cooked, blend until smooth. The easiest way to do this is to use a hand blender, or you can put it into a food processor.

Serve
Serve with a dusting of nutmeg, a swirl of cream or natural yoghurt, grated cheese or cubes of blue cheese, garlic bread or croutons and garnish with parsley. The soup is a wonderful, dark green and contrasts wonderfully with white cream or garnish. Nutmeg gives a lovely, spicey, complementary flavour and aroma.

 

General tourism information:

http://www.frenchentree.com/france-limousin-tourism-leisure/

http://limousin.angloinfo.com/information/18/ltourism.asp

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Catherine Castelain
c.castelain@lepinparasol.com
Date Last Modified: 4/3/15
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