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Limoges coat of arms
Limoges (France)
region Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Department Haute-Vienne
Arrondissement Limoges
Canton Limoges-1 (main town)
Limoges-2 (main town)
Limoges-3 (main town)
Limoges-4 (main town)
Limoges-5 (main town)
Limoges-6 (main town)
Limoges-7 (main town)
Limoges-8 (main town)
Limoges 9 (main town)
Community association Limoges metropolis
Coordinates 45 ° 50 ′  N , 1 ° 16 ′  E Coordinates: 45 ° 50 ′  N , 1 ° 16 ′  E
height 209-431 m
surface 78.03 km 2
Residents 132,175 (January 1, 2017)
Population density 1,694 inhabitants / km 2
Post Code 87000
INSEE code

Limoges Town Hall
Limoges climate diagram.

Limoges [ liˈmɔʒ ] ( Occitan Limòtges ) is a city in France with 132,175 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2017), located on the Vienne Riverin the north-western Massif Central , capital of the Haute-Vienne department and the former Limousin region.


In pre-Roman times the area was inhabited by the Celtic Lemovics . After the conquest of Gaul by the Romans, they founded around 10 BC. The city as Augustoritum on a hill above the Vienne at the point where the roads from Orléans to Agen and from Saintes to Lugdunum ( Lyon ) crossed. Numerous buildings were built in the city, some of which have survived to this day, such as an amphitheater (136 × 115 meters), a theater, the thermal baths and the forum (in the courtyard of today's city administration). The temple was on the site of the later cathedral. Limoges became a bishopric in late antiquity (later assigned to the Archdiocese of Bourges). During the Great Migration, a fortified settlement was built on the Puy Saint-Étienne, later the Cité; Another settlement center was around a necropolis in the north-west of Augustorite, in which the tomb of St. Martial was located and then later the castle of Saint-Martial was built. In the immediate vicinity of Saint-Martial, the residence of the vice-count of the area was built, which soon merged with Saint-Martial.

In the Merovingian era , Limoges was an important royal mint. At the latest after the division of the part of Charibert I of Paris, i.e. 567, Limoges belonged to Neustria. After the marriage of the Neustrian King Chilperich I , he gave the city, together with Bordeaux , Cahors , Bearn and Bigorre, as a morning gift to his bride Gailswintha . These five cities were strategically located to the area of ​​the father-in-law Athanagild , the king of the Visigoths. After Chilperich had arranged for his wife to be murdered, this inheritance passed to the Kingdom of Austrasia , following a settlement by a Malberg summoned by Guntram , King of the Burgundians. Ultimately, disagreeing with this, Chilperich tried to recapture the cities from 573 onwards, which led to one of the many Merovingian civil wars.

In the Cité , the episcopal city, the Saint-Étienne cathedral was built in the High Middle Ages. City and county came to the Anjous in 1152 and thus became part of the Angevin Empire ; however, most of the English possessions in south-west France returned to France around 50 years later. During the Hundred Years War the English renewed their claims to the old Duchy of Guyenne, to which the County of Limousin belonged. After the victory of Maupertuis in 1356 and the Peace of Bretigny in 1360, they were actually granted all the land south of the Loire and Vienne, including the city of Limoges, which placed it in a precarious border position. The inhabitants tried to shake off English supremacy. Then came the Black Prince Edward of Woodstock as sovereign with his people in the city, which he plundered in a six-day punitive action; 3000 residents were killed. This death toll, handed down by the historian Jean Froissart, is, however, in question; in recent times it is assumed that only about 300 have been killed. Even if the episcopal city soon became French again, it did not recover from this blow for a long time; instead, the count's settlement of Saint-Martial, surrounded by 12-meter-high walls, rose. New suburbs arose in their vicinity, in which Franciscans and Dominicans also settled.

The city has been known for the production of porcelain since 1771 , as the area is rich in kaolin deposits : until the 19th century, Limoges supplied, among other things, the court in Paris . Even today, more than half of French porcelain comes from the former royal manufactories . In 1792 the two settlements Cité and Château Saint-Martial were combined and have since formed the city of Limoges. The revolution found enthusiastic supporters here, as church rule was particularly hated: the destruction of the Saint-Martial Abbey is clear evidence of this attitude.

The porcelain and enamel trade led to close contacts, especially with the USA, so that a US consulate was even set up in this provincial town in the 19th century. In 1832 the Pont Neuf over the Vienne is built. Limoges has had a railway connection since 1856. The city grew rapidly through industrialization, so that the old city fortifications were torn down. Today's town hall was built in 1883, the Pont de la Révolution in 1885. At the same time, the importance of the labor movement grew: as early as 1830 there was a strike that lasted several months, and from April to May 1848 there was even a real workers' city administration, so Limoges was called the “Rome of socialism “Was true. So it is not surprising that the French trade union CGT was founded in this city in 1895. In 1905 there were violent clashes between strikers and the security forces, which claimed one person. In 1929 the old Gare des Bénédictins , which had become too small, was replaced by a larger train station. In 1942 Limoges was occupied by the Germans; the liberation took place by forces of the Resistance under Georges Guingouin on August 21, 1944. 1968 Limoges received a university. Limoges is among other things twin town of Fürth .


Saint-Etienne cathedral
The halls
Saint Martial bridge over the Vienne, with half-timbered houses
"Place de la Motte" and Saint-Michel-des-Lions church

Worth seeing are the Gallo-Roman amphitheater , the Saint-Étienne cathedral (construction began in the 13th century), the Saint-Pierre-des-Queyroix church (13th century), the Saint-Michel-des-Lions church (14th century), the crypt Saint-Martial, the Carmelite Convent, the medieval underground passages, the picturesque medieval Village de la Boucherie, the Chapelle Saint-Aurélien, the Château des Essarts (17th century), the Fontaine des Barres (17th century), the Château de Beauvais (18th century), the bridges Pont Saint-Martial and Pont Saint-Étienne, the church Beaune-les-Mines, the episcopal palace (18th century), the halles centrales (market halls), the Hôtel Estienne de la Rivière, the Hôtel Maledent de Savignac de Feytiat, the town hall (19th century), the Gay-Lussac grammar school (formerly the Jesuit school), the Adrian Dubouché museum (19th century), and the 20th century Pavillon du Verdurier , the building of the prefecture that Porcelain Museum or the Mu see de la Resistance et de la Deportation de Limoges .


The enamel and porcelain factories that source the kaolin from nearby Saint-Yrieix-de-la-Perche are still dominant today . The electromechanical industry ( Renault and Legrand have a company location in the city) and the chemical industry also play a role. A uranium mine was operated north of the city in Bessines-sur-Gartempe from 1948 to 2001, which supplied all of Europe with uranium for power generation . The Urêka Museum deals with the history of uranium mining.


The University of Limoges , which has existed since 1968, has around 15,000 students. In addition, the city has 20 grammar schools, 46 other high schools and 40 elementary schools.


Mayor of the traditional “red Limoges” (since 1912) from 1990 to 2014 was the socialist Alain Rodet. In the 2014 municipal elections, he was voted out in the runoff election. The new mayor is Emile-Roger Lombertie from the right-wing UMP .

Town twinning


Limoges-Bénédictins train station
Trolleybus network 1994

In Limoges there is a trolleybus network for local transport, which, like the other bus routes, is operated by STCL. Rail traffic is handled via two train stations, the Gare des Bénédictins and the Gare Montjovis . There are connections to Poitiers, Vierzon (–Paris), Toulouse, Périgeux and Angoulême. Limoges Airport is northwest of the city . Limoges is on the A20 motorway (L'Occitane) Vierzon – Montauban and on several national roads . Until the end of the 1980s, Limoges was the last major French city without a motorway connection.


By far the most successful sports club in town was CSP Limoges , which won the national championship basketball cup in 1993 and won a total of nine French championships and five European cups in the 1980s and 1990s. Their home, Palais des Sports Beaublanc, was also the venue for the 1983 European Basketball Championship . Professional sport was or is also operated by the USA Limoges (rugby union) and FC Limoges (football) clubs .

The Palais des Sports Beaublanc (Bosc Blanc in Occitan) is located in the sports park of the city of Limoges. Its shape is very characteristic, especially the oak roof.

So far, Limoges has staged the Tour de France 13 times .

In Limoges, the WTA Challenger Limoges is an international tennis tournament.


sons and daughters of the town

People related to the city


Part VII of Mussorgski's piano cycle Pictures at an Exhibition : Limoges. Le marché ('Limoges. The market square') describes the hustle and bustle on the market square of this city.

Web links

Commons : Limoges  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. David Green: Edward the Black Prince: Power in medieval Europe , page 92. Harlow 2007. ISBN 0-582-78481-6 ( preview in Google book search, accessed on September 18, 2010)
  2. Michel Feltin-Palas: Municipales à Limoges: la victoire de l'UMP est un tremblement de terre . In: L`Express of March 30, 2014
  3. Archived copy ( memento of the original from July 8, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /