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Talented craftspeople

Porcelain

The porcelain industry developed in Limoges due to the discovery of kaolin in 1768 in Saint-Yrieix-la-Perche (40 Km south of Limoges) and Bursar Turgot. All the materials necessary for making porcelain were present in the Haute-Vienne sub-soil: kaolin, quartz, feldspar, metallic oxides (...)

Enamel

Enamelling is a Limousin art by excellence, in which the craftspeople have been precursor or dominant. This started in the 5th century by gold working monks from the Saint-Martial and Grandmont abbey. They borrowed the method of cloisonné enamel from the Byzantines. They then launched an (...)

Wood: chestnut

Forests have an important place in the Haute-Vienne countryside. The species are varied: resins ( spruce or douglas) cohabit with leaved trees (chestnut, oak, birch, beech). The chestnut, emblem of the Limousin called " tree of bread", fed rural populations for centuries. It is appreciated (...)

Leather

Because of the exceptional quality of the water in the River Vienne and the number or breeding farms in the area (cow, lamb, goat), the Haute-Vienne, and more particularly Saint Junien ( 30km west of Limoges), developed in the 11th century a skins and leather industry. Luxury leather goods (...)

Paper

Paper making in the Limousin started more than 500 years ago. The first paper mills started appearing in the Haute-Vienne in the 15th century. The quality of its water (River Vienne and it’s tributaries the Maulde, the Tard and the Glane), as well as the ease of obtaining hemp and linen (...)

Clay

In the Limousin, south of Limoges, there existed at the beginning of the 20th century a large number of artisanal tileries. A dozen of these worked Puycheny’s single clay seam. Under the effects of industrialisation and the transformation of the rural world, the majority of these have (...)

Stained glass

Stained glass is a decorative composition made up of pieces of coloured glass. These pieces have been assembled using lead strips since the beginning of the Middle Ages.

Gold

A part of south Haute-Vienne is formed of large and long ditches: the gold seams. For a long time they were thought as being Gallo Roman fortifications. In the 90s, open cast gold mining allowed archaeological exploration of these (...)

Industrial visits

Every year during summer (July, August, September) more than 100 industrial company directors welcome tourists to see their exploitation "in activity".

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