Location Hotspot: Limoges

Location Hotspot: Limoges

The porcelain capital lies at the heart of one of the greenest regions of France, where property prices are appealingly low, writes Karen Tait..

Known since the late 18th century for its fine china, Limoges is the capital of the Haute- Vienne department and the old province of Limoges. Now part of the vast Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, the vibrant city on the foothills of the Massif Central sits at the heart of swathes of lush green countryside and agricultural pastures, dotted with pretty villages, criss- crossed by rivers and home to popular leisure lakes.

With the Limousin’s history of cattle and sheep breeding -including the eponymous Limousine cows – butchery and leather industries grew up in the city along the banks of the River Vienne, which provided water and power. Factories in Limoges and St-Junien still produce luxury leather goods.

Porcelain is also still made in the city and can be seen in the museums, including 1,200 pieces within the Musée National Adrien Dubouché’s celebrated ceramics collection. The city’s historic buildings and museums are to be found in the medieval cité quarter by the river (spanned by the Roman St-Martial bridge and 13th-century St-Etienne bridge) and the château quarter.

Tourists can explore the Gothic St-Étienne Cathedral, built between 1273 and 1888, the 10th-century St-Martial Crypt (discovered in the 1960s while building an underground car park), the Fine Arts Museum in the restored 18th-century Bishops’ Palace, town hall (modelled on the Hôtel de Ville in Paris) and botanical gardens.

(c) Damien – Wikimedia Commons

Despite being the second most populated town in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region after Bordeaux, Limoges was the last major urban centre of mainland France to be connected to the national motorway system. Although it’s much easier to arrive by road now, you might prefer to travel here by rail, alighting at the spectacular Art Deco Gare de Limoges Bénédictins. Meanwhile, Limoges airport (with flights from Ryanair) has opened up the tranquil Limousin region to holidaymakers and househunters. The latter are attracted by the area’s remarkably cheap property.

Although average prices are higher in the city (€2,080/m²), there are bargains galore to be found in the smaller towns and villages. Haute-Vienne has an average property price of €1,470/ m², dropping to €1,320/ m² and just €760/m² in the neighbouring departments of Corrèze and Creuse. In the city, prices are highest in the centre and along the river.

(c) Astronautilus – Wikimedia Commons

The unique mix of legal, financial and tax advice along with in-depth location guides, inspiring real life stories, the best properties on the market, entertaining regular pages and the latest property news and market reports makes French Property News magazine a must-buy publication for anyone serious about buying and owning a property in France.

Lead photo credit : (c) Shutterstock

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