15 times stage town Prefecture of Haute-Vienne (87)
Population: 130,500, 207,000 inhabitants in Limoges Métropole.
Personalities: Sadi Carnot (former President of the Republic), Roland Dumas, Xavier Darcos (former ministers), Auguste Renoir (painter), Georges-Emmanuel Clancier, Jacques Lacarrière (writers), Yves Bigot, Ève Ruggieri, Lionel Chamoulaud (journalists), Luc Leblanc, Pascal Hervé, Sébastien Turgot (cyclists). Richard Dacoury, Frédéric Forte (basketball).
Specialities: porcelain, Limousin meat (beef, pork, lamb), gentian, Limousin apple. Clafoutis, potato pâté.
Sport: Limoges CSP (basketball), Limoges Athlé. USAL Limoges rugby. Centre for Sports Law and Economics.
Events: cyclo-cross, Tour du Limousin.
Festivals: Francophonies en Limousin (theatre), Danse Émoi. Webdesign International Festival, Lire à Limoges, 1001 Notes, Cavalcade, Urb'aka street arts festival, Toques et Porcelaine biennial (a festive event based on Limoges porcelain and Limousin gastronomy), Forum des associations, Eclats D'Email Jazz Edition Festival, Frairie des petits ventres (in October), Christmas in Limoges.
Economy: porcelain, European ceramics cluster, food processing, electrical equipment, luxury goods industry. Elopsys (microwave, wireless technology). Large companies: Legrand, Arquus (long called Renault Trucks), Valeo, Schneider Electric, Haviland, Bernardaud or Weston.
Website: www.limoges.fr / www.destination-limoges.com / www.limoges-metropole.fr / www.haute-vienne.fr
LIMOGES AND CYCLING
Lance Armstrong was not always the black sheep of world cycling. In 1995, he was not yet a possible winner of the Tour de France, not yet a cancer survivor. Not yet a doping survivor either. Only a gifted American who had won the world title to everyone's surprise in 1993 and a stage of the Tour in Verdun the same year. Detached in the final of this 18th stage in Limoges, the Texan crossed the line, zipped up his jersey and extended a finger towards the sky, then two. A final tribute to his team-mate Fabio Casartelli, who died a few days earlier in the descent of Portet d'Aspet. "The biggest thing I know about Fabio is that everyone loved him. He only had friends. He was someone who laughed all the time, who talked a lot. He never complained, he rode for the love of cycling. He wasn't one of those young people who did it to get away from the factory or the work in the fields. His parents had enough money so he didn't have to worry about that. It's unfortunate, but it's only now that we realise how much Fabio was loved," he said at the finish. This was an image of Armstrong that we would have liked to keep. Since then, the city of porcelain has hosted more starts than finishes. However, in 2016, it was Marcel Kittel who won a stage from Saumur, to the great displeasure of Bryan Coquard, second, who missed his best opportunity to win on the roads of the Tour by a few inches. It was the ninth of the fourteen stage victories of the German sprinter.
Benedictins Railway Station
Construction: 1856 for the first station, 1929 for the current station.
Characteristics: Built from the plans of Roger Gonthier on the grounds of a former Benedictine convent, the station has been the pride of the city since 1929. Its 31-metres high dome and its adjoining campanile, which rises to 61 metres, watch over the city, topped by their copper hat. The main specificity of the Benedictine station is that it is built above the tracks. It is in fact a transit station, with the passenger building on a platform placed perpendicularly seven metres above ten tracks. The station is made up of a reinforced concrete frame, the outside of which is dressed with ashlar (limestone) and the inside with plaster. The dome was completely rebuilt following the great fire that destroyed it in 1998.
Trivia: Limoges-Bénédictins station was voted most beautiful station in France in 2022 by a jury of internet users on the SNCF's social networks.
Listing: Historical Monument since 1975.
Museum of Fine Arts
Construction: 17th century. The museum opened in 1912.
Characteristics: this 17th century episcopal palace became the Fine Arts Museum in 1912. Its collection of enamels (enamel on champlevé copper from the Middle Ages, enamels from the Renaissance or Art Deco), impressionist paintings (notably by Renoir, born in Limoges) and archaeological pieces are worth seeing.
Features: in the heart of the capital of the arts of fire, the Adrien Dubouché National Museum (named after the collector who donated his pieces to the museum) offers a journey of discovery into the techniques of ceramic creation and presents a true history of art and civilisation through the prism of this noble material.
Trivia: the museum was founded by Tiburce Morisot, prefect and father of impressionist painter Berthe Morisot.
Listing: Historical Monument since 1991. National Museum.
Museum of the Resistance
Since 1989, it presents the different forms and actions of the local Resistance through a collection of objects, weapons and authentic documents.
The Limousin breed of cattle is a prestigious meat which has its own "blason prestige" label for the veal under the mother's milk, renowned for the flavour and finesse of its meat, and for the grazer. The Lanaud centre in Boisseuil is its headquarters. It is a unique and renowned site in France, entirely dedicated to the development of the Limousin cattle breed. At the gates of Limoges, on the edge of the A20 motorway, this original complex is the work of renowned architect Jean Nouvel and his first project in a rural environment. This exemplary creation, made entirely of Douglas fir from the Limousin, has been listed as a "Remarkable Building of the 20th Century". The site is also approved as a Remarkable Taste Site. The brand new "Limousine Park" agro-tourism park is also worth a visit: a place of exchange between the rural world and a growing urban population.