Excursions to Limoges
Limoges is a fusion of two cities which, after the sack of the Roman-built Augustorium by the Barbarians, grew up separately over centuries and were not united until French Revolution.
One is the ancient cathedral quarter, rising up above the river banks. The Gothic cathedral of St-Etienne still dominates the scene, despite having lost its spire, struck by lighting in the
XVIc. It is surrounded by the gardens of the bishop’s palace, which has vast subterraneanpassages. The second city was the centre of political power, known as “the Château” – the Royal Town, ever at odds with the Bishop’s City.
Travel to the city of Porcelain
Limoges’ architecture ranges widely from the Jesuit severity of the XVIIc Gay-Lussac Chapel’s main door, to the Art Déco surrealism of the Pavillon de Verdurier, a former cold store. The picturesque quarter of the Ancestral Guild of Butchers was established in the XIIIc near
the highest point of the town. The entire trade was controlled by six large families who have maintained their grip on it virtually ever since. Limoges’ exquisite china only really emerged 200 years ago when a very pure supply of kaoline was discovered in the region.
Limoges has had a reputation for enamels since the XIIc so it was logical that a chinawork be set up here: fuel for the kilns grew abundantly in the region’s forests, and the Vienneriver made distribution easy. The local people soon set up their own factories and developed their own decorative style. At the turn of the century, there were no less than 35 porcelain works in Limoges with an annual production of up to 3.000 firings.
Limoges Tour Program
Example of Program (to adapt if necessary, according to your desires and the availability of museums or shops)
Departure from your hotel in Bordeaux
Private visit and of the former old porcelain kiln that still exists
Lunch at a gourmet (meat specialities) restaurant in the down town.
Walking tour in the city center of Limoges.
- Possible shopping of porcelain in the best shops.
- Possible visit of the porcelain museum.
Possible private visit of a medieval castle with the owner
Return to Bordeaux
Included: private guide – driver services, transportation by minivan, visits and tastings in armagnac houses.