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Limoges Finer Than Its Porcelain

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

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A Route through the Périgord Vert

The Périgord, a former French province distributed across the departments of the Dordogne and Lot-et-Garonne, in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, is divided into four sub-districts named after the dominant colour in the area. Thus, the Périgord Pourpre (Purple) is so called on account of the colour of its wine; the Périgord Noir (Black), named for its truffles and the dark woodlands there; the Périgord Blanc (White), for the limestone prevalent in the soil, and the Périgord Vert for the intense green of its meadows and oak forests.

The Périgord Vert, the northernmost of the four, has its capital in the commune of Nontron where for centuries the main activities are trades relating to leather and the art of table dressing. This town is the best spot from which to strike out on a route through the lush meadows of France as it traverses an amazing variety of landscapes belonging to the Périgord-Limousin Regional Nature Park. You won’t be at a loss for things to do in the Périgord Vert as it offers a host of activities, including hiking routes or tours of oil mills and fortified castles.

Another itinerary that comes highly recommended is the well-known Richard the Lionheart Route which stretches for over 180 kilometres and covers 19 areas open to the public. The route is signposted on both sides of the main road by a lion crowned with a heart pierced by an arrow, in remembrance of Richard the Lionheart’s sad end. Dotted along the whole route are vestiges of the battles and power struggles among the Dukes of Aquitaine, sparked by marriage agreements, which also involved the Kings of England and the French monarchs.

Touring the Périgord Vert

Apart from soaking up nature in the Périgord Vert, it is worth visiting the charming villages in this sub-district of France, notably Brantôme, famous for its Abbey and the Church of Saint-Pierre, which boasts the oldest belfry in France, dating from the Visigoth period. Brantôme is sited on the banks of the river Dronne, which runs along gentle meanders that set up a beautiful picture postcard scenery known as the “Venice of the Périgord”. Setting out from the abbey, by crossing the unusual, 16th-century right-angled bridge, you get to the monks’ garden and the heart of the town, featuring numerous vestiges from the 16th, 17th and 18th century. However, the best guarded secret of Brantôme are its troglodytic caves, where Benedictine monks once sought refuge. A few kilometres from Brantôme along the river Dronne lies the village of Bourdeilles, a commune with two landmark buildings – a medieval fortress and a Renaissance building housing an interesting collection of 15th- and 16th-century Spanish furniture.

Book your Vueling to Bordeaux and delight in the fantastic scenery of the Pèrigord Vert, a two-hour ride away.

Text by Tus Destinos


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