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Limoges France

Limoges Famous for its china

Limoges is mainly known for its, now dwindling, fine porcelain and enamel trade and the town has several museums and galleries dedicated to these industries. These, combined with the Gothic cathedral and impressive train station, make Limoges worth a visit but it is by no means the most compelling of France's towns.

Limoges airport information

Work started on the Cathédrale St Étienne in 1273, which was intended to mimic the cathedral at Amiens, and it was not completed until 1876. The choir is the only part that is purely Gothic, but the cathedral is one of the few Gothic cathedrals built south of the Loire, compared to the glut of them up north. The pillars are extremely narrow and the height of the ceiling seems accentuated by this and the network of vaulting. The Renaissance rood screen is also impressive. Next door to the cathedral in the old bishop's palace is the best of the enamel museums, the Musée Municipal de l'Évêché (free entry). All sorts of enamelware from various periods and styles are shown here, as well as some of the lesser known Auguste Renoir paintings (he was born here in 1841). Around the bishop's palace and the cathedral is the attractive botanical garden, the Jardin de l'Évêché, with medicinal and toxic herbs in the well designed flowerbeds that descend towards the River Vienne.

Limoges ' old town has been partly renovated and is situated to the west of the cathedral. Rue de la Boucherie is at the hub of the old town and you can find several good restaurants here in what used to be the butchers' guild quarter for thousands of years. Also on this road at number 36 is the Maison de la Boucherie (free entry), a former shophouse that now contains a museum about the area's history.

If porcelain is your quarry head west of the old town to the Musée Adrien Dubouché (€4) on place Winston Churchill. There are examples of local and international china, with some famous collections made for celebrities like Napoléon Bonaparte, and informative, interesting explanations that are accessible to all.

There are several good hotels near place Jourdon, northwest of the cathedral square, such as the Hotel de la Paix on the place itself (05 55 32 37 06) with atmospheric rooms from €30 40, and a number of hotels in quiet streets near the station. For food there is a gamut of affordable eateries in Limoges. The most interesting restaurants are on rue de la Boucherie, where you can eat all sorts of gruesome things at Les Petits Ventres (number 20; 05 55 34 22 90) such as brains and tongues on menus from €17, or less shocking dishes such as fois gras at L'Amphitryon (number 26; 05 55 33 36 39) with €25 menus.