Limoges Finer Than Its Porcelain
16 May, 2017
A city of art and history located in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Limoges is internationally renowned for its whiteporcelain,which first entered production in the late 18th century, thanks to the discovery in the city’s environs of abundant kaolin deposits.
Hence, if you travel to Limoges, be sure to take one of the tours which reveal the secrets of porcelain and explain just how important it was to this land over the last few centuries. The highlight of this tour is a visit to the Adrien Dubouché National Museum which, after a recent refurbishment, features the richest collection of Limoges porcelain in the world. This includes works representing the great periods in the history of ceramics. The museum tour takes you on a journey through time, starting in antiquity, crossing continents and civilisations and gradually leading up to the most contemporary creations. Curiosities include a ceramic sternum and electrical insulation made of porcelain.
Another place of technological and historical interest on this unique route through Limoges porcelain is the Musée du Four des Casseaux, home to one of the last surviving porcelain kilns in the area. This industrial building dating from 1904 pays special tribute to its workers, particularly those who died young of lung diseases caused by inhaling silicas. Here, visitors can witness the two firings used to make porcelain – the first at 980°C and the second at 1400°C.
Your itinerary around the Limoges porcelain scene should be rounded off by a visit to the points of manufacture and sale of these valuable wares. One of them is Bernardaud, a company whose savoir-faire is perpetuated in their refined lines, subtle colours and original forms, in keeping with the times. Another emblematic house of porcelain is Jacques Pergay, located on the outskirts of Limoges, which produces elegant, unique pieces and ever more beautiful whites.
Limoges – A City of Hidden Corners
The fame of its porcelain has not eclipsed the beauty of one of the most picturesque cities in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, although it is still scarcely frequented by Spanish tourists.
The city is divided into districts, of which the Cathedral District and Butchers District are among the most emblematic. Prominent in the former, as its name suggests, is the Gothic Cathedral of Saint-Étienne and the Palais de l’Évêché museum and botanical gardens, located on the banks of the river Vienne, in addition to the Musée de la Résistance. On the Rue de la Boucherie you can visit the traditional Butcher’s House, featuring a recreation of the living conditions of an 18th-century butcher’s family – the butcher’s guild was the most powerful one in Limoges at the time.
Before leaving Limoges, make a point of visiting its unusual Art-Deco train station, as well as some interesting buildings adorned with porcelain features, such as the City Hall, Central Market and Louyat Cemetery.
Book your Vueling to Bordeaux and make your getaway to Limoges.
Text by Tus Destinos
16 May, 2017