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University of Limoges


140,138 (2008)


Emile-roger Lombertie

Limoges in the past, History of Limoges

Map of Limoges

Limoges (; [limɔʒ]; Occitan: Lemòtges or Limòtges [liˈmɔdʒes]) is a city and commune, the capital of the Haute-Vienne department and was the administrative capital of the former Limousin region in west-central France.


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Limoges is known for its medieval and Renaissance enamels (Limoges enamels) on copper, for its 19th-century porcelain (Limoges porcelain) and for its oak barrels which are used for Cognac and Bordeaux production. Some are even exported to wineries in California.

Limoges mon royaume mon terrain de jeu

Cuisiner le filet mignon

Ancient and medieval history

Scarce remains of pre-urban settlements have been found in the area of Limoges. The capital of the Gaulish people of the Lemovices, who lived in the area, was probably either near Villejoubert, some kilometres south-east of Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat, or St Gence, just west of Limoges.

The city proper was founded as Augustoritum by the Romans, around 10 BC: "rito-" is Gaulish for "ford". The foundation was part of the reorganization of the province by the emperor Augustus, hence the new name. The Roman city included an amphitheatre measuring 136 x 115 metres, a theatre, a forum, baths and several sanctuaries. According to tradition, a temple consecrated to Venus, Diana, Minerva and Jupiter was located near the modern cathedral. The city was on the typical Roman square plan, with two main streets crossing in the centre. It had a Senate and a currency of its own, a sign of its importance in the imperial age. Later, like many towns and cities in Gaul, it was renamed after the tribe (here the Lemovices) whose chief town it was; "Lemovices" subsequently evolved into "Limoges", and "Lemovicinus" for the area around changed into "Limousin".

Limoges was evangelized by Saint Martial, who came to the city around 250 with two companions, Alpinianus and Austriclinienus. However, in the late 3rd century it was increasingly abandoned, due to unsafe conditions created by the invasions of various Germanic tribes. The population was concentrated instead in a more easily fortifiable site, the modern Puy Saint-Étienne, which is the centre of the modern Limoges. Starting from the construction of the Abbey of St. Martial (9th century), another settlement grew around the tomb of the saint, while a third area, next to the residence of the viscount (the future Castle of Saint Martial), seems to have been populated from the 10th century.

Starting from the 11th century, thanks to the presence of the Abbey of St. Martial and its large library, Limoges became a flourishing artistic centre. It was home to an important school of medieval music composition, which is usually called the St. Martial School; its most famous member was the 13th-century troubadour Bertran de Born.

In the 13th century, at the peak of its splendour, central Limoges consisted of two fortified settlements.

  • The town proper, with a new line of walls encompassing the Vienne River, inhabited mainly by clerks and workers. It has a bridge on the Vienne river named after Saint-Étienne, built by the bishops, and a developed port. Sacked in 1370, it never recovered entirely.
  • The castle, with 12 meter-high walls, including the abbey and controlled by the abbot, sometimes in contrast with the bishop-ruled town ("la Cité"). Traces of the walls can still be seen in the city centre. Outside the lines of walls were the popular quarters.
  • In 1370, Limoges was occupied by Edward, the Black Prince, who massacred some 300 residents, "perhaps a sixth of the normal population", with another 60 members of the garrison of 140 dead as well.

    Modern history

    The city and castle were united in 1792 to form the single city of Limoges. During the French Revolution several religious edifices, considered symbols of the Ancien Régime, were destroyed by the population: these included the Abbey of St. Martial itself.

    Some years later the porcelain industry started to develop, favoured by the presence of kaolinite which was discovered near Limoges in 1768 (near St Yrieix, south-west of Limoges). Many of the inhabitants became employed in the new sector or in connected activities (including the lumbering of wood needed for firing the porcelain) in manufacture and exporting needed for European distribution of Limoges Boxes, dinnerware, and other porcelain wares. Because the Limousin region has had a long history of breeding (Baronet sheep and Limousine cows), the leather industry also settled in and around Limoges along the banks of the Vienne–the river providing the necessary water and power. Factories in Limoges and St Junien still produce luxury leather shoes, gloves, and bags.

    In the 19th century Limoges saw strong construction activity, which included the destruction and rebuilding of much of the city centre. The unsafe conditions of the poorer population is highlighted by the outbreak of several riots, including that of July–November 1830; April 1848. In early 1905 strikes began in another local industry, shoe factories soon followed in the porcelain factories. Barricades were built, the army intervened. There would be two casualties: a horse and a young porcelain worker, Camille Vardelle. The first French confederation of workers, Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT) (General Confederation of Labour), was created in Limoges in 1895.

    During the World War II, many Jews from Alsace were evacuated to and around Limoges.


    The city is one of France's basketball capitals. The Palais des Sports de Beaublanc, has been host for international basketball events such as the EuroBasket 1983 and serves as home court for the professional team CSP Limoges (Cercle St Pierre). Since 1983, the club has been French champion 11 times (1983, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1994, 2000, 2014, 2015) and 6 European titles (1982, 1983, 2000 (Korac Cup), 1988 (FIBA Saporta Cup), 1993 (Euroleague)). It was the first French club team to become European champion in a collective sport. The team currently plays in Pro A, the French first basketball professional league.

    The Sports Palace of Beaublanc (Bòsc Blanc in Occitan) is located in the sports park of the city of Limoges. It was realized during the year 1981 thanks to Albert Chaminade (1912–2009), who long demanded an honorable basketball field of the sports facilities worthy to the Mayors Georges Guingouin then Léon Betoulle it was not until 1981, distant cousin of the Blessed Guillaume-Joseph Chaminade, (1761–1850), French religious priest, founder of the Society of Mary (Marianists). He was beatified on 3 September 2000 by St John Paul II. He was a CSP player during the 1920s, a basketball officer, an International and National Referee, a Police Inspector, then a municipal councilor, to cover the Palais des sports, which gives the hall a wave style and has a mandate for basketball French and later of the region his project asked the Mayor Louis Longequeue who accepted and validated for the cover, the Architects were Rauby & Marty. At the death of Albert Chaminade, in 2009, this one rests under the stele in memory of the French sportsmen of the Haute-Vienne this was accepted by the Mayor of (1990–2014) Alain Rodet before entrance of the Sports Palace. The Beaublanc Sports Center is equipped with a basketball hall, an athletics stadium, an Olympic swimming pool, tennis courts and various football fields.

    Limoges FC, founded in 1947, is a French association football team based in Limoges, France, which is currently playing in the fifth tier of the French football league system. Notable players: French international players:

  • François Remetter, (born August 8, 1928, in Strasbourg), is a French former football goalkeeper.
  • Laurent Koscielny; (born September 10, 1985) is a French footballer who plays for Arsenal and the France national football team. Koscielny is the vice-captain of Arsenal. He has been described as a clever, agile and ball-playing defender
  • Limoges Hand 87 is a French handball team based in Limoges, France, which is currently playing in the Division 2 of Ligue Nationale de Handball.


    Limoges experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) common to much of Western France. Most precipitation occurs between October and February. On 27 December 1999, winds reached 148 km/h. On average, the city undergoes 41 days of frost and seven days of snow each winter. In June, July and August, precipitation tends to come only from violent thunderstorms coming from the Bay of Biscay.


    Population city: 139,502 (limougeauds), urban area: 281,570. At the 1999 census, the population was 133,968.

    Main sights

  • The Crypt of Saint Martial, 10th century, including the tomb of the bishop who evangelized the city It was discovered in the 1960s while building an underground parking lot (place de la république).
  • Remains of the Gallo-Roman amphitheatre, one of the largest in ancient Gaul.
  • The Gothic Limoges Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Limoges), begun in 1273 and only finished in 1888. It is noted for a fine loft built in 1534 and for the partly octagonal bell tower. The main artistic works are a Renaissance rood screen and the tomb of the bishop Jean de Langeac, with sculpted scenes of the Apocalypse.
  • The Chapelle Saint-Aurélien (14th–17th centuries). It includes the relics of St. Aurelian, the second bishop of Limoges, and has medieval statues and Baroque works of art.
  • The church of St-Pierre-du-Queyroix, begun in the 12th century
  • Church of St-Michel-des-Lions, begun in 1364. It houses the relics of St. Martial and has stained-glass windows from the 15th–16th century. The most striking feature is the 65 m-high tower, with a spire surmounted by a big bronze ball.
  • The bridges of Saint Martial (dating from the Roman era) and of St-Etienne (13th century).
  • The Limoges Fine Arts Museum (Musée des Beaux-Arts), housed in the 18th-century bishops' palace ('Palais de l'Évêché').
  • The railway station, Gare de Limoges Bénédictins, inaugurated in 1929.
  • The Château de La Borie (17th century), at 4 km (2.5 mi) from the city. It is home to the Centre Culturel de Rencontre de La Borie et l'Ensemble Baroque de Limoges.
  • The remains of the 12th-century Castle of Chalucet, 10 km (6.2 mi) south of the city. During the Hundred Years' War it was a base of the bands of pillagers which ravaged the country.
  • The city's botanical gardens include the [[Jardin botanique de l'Evêché]next to the cathedral] and the Jardin botanique alpin "Daniella".
  • The University of Limoges was founded in 1968.
  • Art and literature

    "Le marché de Limoges" (Limoges market) is the name of a section of Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky.

    In 1768, kaolin, a rock rich in fine, white clay which is used for making porcelain, was discovered at Saint-Yrieix-la-Perche, 30 km south of Limoges. Under the impetus of the progressive economist Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, Baron de Laune, who had been appointed intendant of this impoverished and isolated region, a new ceramics industry was developed, and Limoges porcelain became famous during the 19th century. However, Limoges porcelain is a generic term for porcelain produced in Limoges rather than at a specific factory (there are still several porcelain factories in and around Limoges). More than 50% of all porcelain made in France comes from Limoges

    Limoges is mentioned in T.S. Eliot's poem Gerontion (London 1919), lines 23 to 25:

    "... Mr. Silvero/ With caressing hands, at Limoges/ Who walked all night in the next room."

    Eliot's compatriot and mentor Ezra Pound visited Limoges in 1912 when researching the landscape and the work of the 12th-century troubadours. As he states in his essay Troubadours: Theirs Sorts and Conditions: "... a man may walk the hill roads and river roads from Limoges and Charente to Dordogne and Narbonne and learn a little, or more than a little, of what the country meant to the wandering singers ..."

    There is also a reference to Limoges in Jean-Paul Sartre's novel Nausea, near the middle of the book in the Shrove Tuesday section, when the magistrate says: "I had a similar case at the beginning of my career. It was in 1902. I was deputy magistrate at Limoges ..."

    While Limoges is absent from the work of Auguste Renoir, although a native of the city, she remains an important source of inspiration for local artists, such as Paul-Laurent Courtot, Auguste Aridas, who paints the workers' world of the second half Of the nineteenth century then Francis Chigot glass and stained glass painter, Jean-Louis Paguenaud, Élie Lascaux or Jean-Joseph Sanfourche.


    The main railway station of Limoges is the Gare de Limoges-Bénédictins. It offers direct connections with Paris, and Toulouse, and several regional destinations. The motorway A20 connects Limoges with Chateauroux, Vierzon, Orléans and Paris to the north, and Brive-la-Gaillarde, Cahors, Montauban and Toulouse to the south. The nearest airport is Limoges – Bellegarde Airport.

    Urban transport in Limoges and its metropolitan area is operated by Société de transports en commun de Limoges Métropole (STCL). The Limoges urban bus network includes the Limoges trolleybus system, one of only four such systems currently operating in France.

    Notable people

    Limoges was the birthplace of

  • Pierre Basile, according to the chroniclers Roger de Wendover and Bernard Itier (Ithier), librarian of the Abbey Saint-Martial de Limoges, the knight Limousin who mortally wounded Richard the Lionheart at the siege of *Châlus-Chabrol Castle, On March 26, 1199, of a crossbow tile which reached the King of England at the base of the neck.
  • Bernard Gui (1261-1331), Inquisitor of Toulouse, Bishop of Lodève, buried in Limoges.
  • Henri François d'Aguesseau (1668–1751), chancellor of France
  • Jean Daurat (or Dorat) (1508–1588), poet and scholar, member of the Pléiade
  • Jean-Gilles du Coëtlosquet, Bishop of Limoges and tutor of grandchildren of Louis XV
  • Stephen Grellet (1773–1855), Quaker missionary
  • Jean-Baptiste Jourdan (1762–1833), marshal of France
  • Thomas Robert Bugeaud de la Piconnerie, Duke of Duchy of Isly (1784–1849), marshal of France
  • Spanish King Ferdinand VII had one night in 1808. Presented by Napoleon Bonaparte, and banished by the Emperor to King Ferdinand VII of Spain, spent a night in 1808 Castle Valençay (Indre), he spent a night in guard in Muret, owners at the time of this particular hotel says Sampigny.
  • Pierre Victurnien Vergniaud (1753–1793), orator and revolutionary
  • Fabienne Delsol, a singer active since 1996
  • Roger Gonthier (1884–1978), architect
  • Jean-Baptiste Joseph Émile Montégut (1825–1895), critic
  • René Navarre (1877–1968), actor
  • Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919), painter
  • Michel Chevalier (1806–1879), engineer, economist, and statesman
  • Tōson Shimazaki (1872–1943), Japanese writer, exiled in Limoges in 1915 and 1916.
  • Marie François Sadi Carnot (1837–1894), President of France
  • Martial Valin (1898–1980), commander of the Free French Air Force
  • Georges Guingouin (Magnac-Laval, 1913 Troyes, 2005), school teacher who led the French resistance from 1942 to 1944 (FTP then FFI) around Limoges. Also nicknamed "le préfet du maquis", under his orders the Resistance defeated the German brigade led by General Curt von Jesser, at the battle of the Mont Gargan, in July 1944 and liberated Limoges without any casualty one month later, on August 21. He was elected a mayor of Limoges (1945–47).
  • Albert Chaminade (1912–2009), former basketball player and international referee, resistant, politician Honorary President of the Committee of Medalists of the Haute-Vienne, dean of Medals of the Medal of Youth, Sports and Association of the Haute-Vienne, he awarded the Medal of Youth, Sports and The associative commitment to Raymond Poulidor the cyclist behind Jacques Anquetil.
  • François Mitterrand, linked to Limoges because his grandfather Joseph was born September 27, 1873 in Limoges, died in 1946 in Jarnac.
  • Heinz Lammerding, (1905-1971) officier allemand de la Waffen-SS He is known - notably in France - for having been the commander of the SS Das Reich division, responsible for the massacres of Tulle and Oradour-sur-Glane in 1944. Has been passing here
  • Adolf Diekmann (1914-1944) Commander of the 1 st battalion of the Der Führer regiment of the 2nd SS Das Reich Division responsible for the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre, where 642 people (240 women, 205 children and 197 men) were murdered. Has been passing here
  • André Antoine (1858–1943), theater pioneer, actor, director, filmmaker
  • Maryse Bastié (1898–1952), aviator
  • Jean Lefebvre The actor (1919–2004) drove one of the first Limoges trolleybuses, before starting upon his career in film and theater.
  • Jean-Joseph Sanfourche says "Sanfourche" French painter and poet, born 25 June 1929 in Bordeaux and died on 13 March 2010 Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat, lived in Limoges
  • Xavier Darcos (1947), politician
  • Roland Dumas (1922), politician
  • Mario David, French actor, born August 9, 1927 in Charleville-Mezieres and died April 29, 1996 in Paris
  • Georges-Emmanuel Clancier (1914), writer, poet and novelist.
  • Theo Sarapo (1936–1970), singer, actor, died at Limoges
  • Pascal Sevran (1945–2008), songwriter, television host, who died in Limoges
  • Guillaume Moreau (born in 1983 in Limoges), automobile driver
  • Guy Roux, French player and football coach, born 18 October 1938 in Colmar, and then was transferred in 1958 in Limoges, where he became a boarding master at the Lycée Gay-Lussac Player Limoges FC 1958–1961
  • Raoul Hausmann, artist born in Vienna, in 1886, co-founder of Dada-Berlin, famous for his collages. Moved to Limoges for safety in 1939 and then to Peyrat-le-château where he died in 1971. The Rochechouart Art Museum (west of Limoges) holds several of his works.
  • Edmond Malinvaud (born in 1923 in Limoges), world-renowned economist
  • Fred Sirieix (born 1971 or 1972), maître d' famous for appearing on First Dates.
  • Michel Denisot (born 1945 Buzançais), former freelance radio ORTF in Limoges, now a pillar of Canal +.
  • Damien Chouly (born 27 November 1985), is a French rugby union footballer. He played for Clermont Auvergne, in the Top 14, commonly in the Number 8 position.
  • Edmond Malinvaud (1923–2015), economist
  • Bernard Lathière, born on 4 March 1929 in Calcutta (India) and died on 27 June 1997 in Paris, was a senior French official, an emblematic figure of the French aeronautical industry for nearly 30 years. He is considered one of the founding fathers of Airbus: he was originally from Limoges.
  • Richard Dacoury (1959), French basketball player, former international player and emblematic player of the Limoges basketball club.
  • David Ducourtioux (born April 11, 1978), in Limoges, is a French footballer. He held the right backside position in Valenciennes from 2007 to 2014. He now plays for Gazélec Ajaccio.
  • Sébastien Puygrenier (born 28 January 1982), is a French football player. He is a centre back, who currently plays for French team US Créteil.
  • Pascal Hervé (1964), former cyclist, excluded from the Tour de France for doping in 1998 with the cycling team Festina, converted in the restaurant, Le Comptoir de Bacchus at 3 rue Filles Notre Dame and La Bicyclette at 15 rue Hubert Curien.
  • Philippe Bolo, (born on 25 March 1967), is a French politician, member of the MoDem and deputy MoDem of the seventh riding of Maine-et-Loire
  • Natalia Pouzyreff is an engineer and politician (born on February 18, 1961) Invested by La République en marche!, she was elected deputy in the sixth constituency of Yvelines on 18 June 2017.
  • Luc Leblanc, born on 4 August 1966 in Limoges, is a French cyclist, professional from 1987 to 1998. He was crowned world road champion in 1994 in Agrigento in Sicily ahead of Claudio Chiappucci in a very difficult race.
  • Maxime Méderel is a French cyclist, born on September 19, 1980 in Limoges, professional since 2005. He is a member of the UV Limousine.
  • Théo Vimpère, born on 3 July 1990 in Limoges, is a French cyclist. From 2013 to 2016 in the HP BTP–Auber93 continental team, he has been a member of the Pro Immo Nicolas Roux team since 2017
  • Twin towns

  • Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
  • Fürth, Germany
  • Grodno, Belarus
  • Seto, Aichi, Japan
  • Icheon, South Korea
  • Plzeň, Czech Republic
  • Views around limoges haute vienne limousin france october 2015


    Limoges Wikipedia