Nouvelle Aquitaine Section

Limousin - Nouvelle Aquitaine Region

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Limousin - Origin

Limousin became an administrative region during the territorial reform of 1960.

It is now part of Nouvelle Aquitaine, one of the 13 new regions created by the territorial reform that took effect on January 1, 2016.

The historic Limousin includes 3 departments:

Corrèze (19 - Tulle), Creuse (23 - Guéret) and Haute-Vienne (87 - Limoges).

Limoges is the administrative centre or préfecture and attracts nearly 40% of the local population.

However, the region is the second least populated in Metropolitan France after Corsica.

Historical Limousin

Limousin takes its name from the  Lemovices, the Celtic tribe who ruled the region before the Roman conquest.

It was then part of Aquitania, a province the Roman Emperor Augustus created in 16BC.

In 412AD, the Visigoths invaded this ancient region that stretched between the Atlantic Ocean and the northern slopes of the Pyrénées.

In 507AD the Frankish king Clovis defeated the Visigoth King Alaric II at the Battle of Vouillé, and attached Aquitaine to his Kingdom of France.

The Duchy of Aquitaine was founded in 675AD and Limousin consequently organized in viscounties.

Eleanor of Aquitaine brought the region in her dowry, when she married Henry Plantagenet who was crowned King of England in 1152.

Limousin was definitively re-attached to the Crown of France in 1607.

Limousin today

A vast network of rivers crisscrosses this beautiful quintessential region's lush green countryside and rolling hills and forests cover 34% of its total area.

Agriculture, cattle breeding and forestry are the main sectors of its economy.

However, mining was once very active.

The Gauls indeed already extracted gold more than 2000 years ago!

Kaolin, the key component of porcelain, has been mined from the 18th century onward, and uranium for a few decades in the second half of the 20th century.

Climate greatly differs with the region's varied relief.

Mountain areas therefore have a continental climate with cold winters and hot summers.

However, plateaus enjoy temperate climate, while the western valleys benefits from oceanic influences.

Limousin is away from the major roads.

It has not yet been spoiled by excessive tourism and has retained its authenticity.

However, the creation of the Regional Natural Park Périgord Limousin and Millevaches Regional Park initiated the development of cultural tourism and Eco-tourism.

Some of Limousin's many tourist sites

Limoges, the ancient historic capital is worldwide renown for its fine porcelain.

However, did you know that it was also the birthplace of the Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir?

And, did you know that the tapestry 'Lady and the Unicorn' was discovered in the 14th century Chateau de Boussac?

That Saint-Robert and Collonges-la-Rouge were ranked among the Plus Beaux Villages de France?

That Uzerche was known as the Pearl of the Limousin?

That the burial ground of a 45,000 old Neanderthal young adult had been discovered in La Chapelle aux Saints?

That the chateau of the Marquise de Pompadour, Louis XV's favourite, was also a national stud farm where the renown Anglo-Arab breed was created?

Finally, did you know that Richard the Lionheart was fatally wounded at the castle of Chalus-Chabrol, and that Oradour-sur-Glane was a martyr village kept in its war-state?

Area: 16,942 km²
Population: 742,771 (01/01/2013)

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