Limousin (region)

Limousin (region)

Infobox French region
native_name = Région Limousin
common_name = Limousin

image_flag_size = 125px

image_logo_size = 65px

capital = Limoges
area = 16,942 | area_scale = 10
Regional president = Jean-Paul Denanot
(PS) (since 2004)
population_rank = 22nd
population_census = 710,939
population_census_year = 1999
population_estimate = 727,000
population_estimate_year = 2007
population_density = 43
population_density_year = 2007
arrondissements = 8
cantons = 106
communes = 747
departments = Corrèze

footnotes =

Limousin (Occitan: "Lemosin") is one of the 26 regions of France. It is composed of three départements; Corrèze, Creuse and the Haute-Vienne.


The modern region of Limousin is essentially composed of two historical French provinces:

* Limousin: the Corrèze department in its entirety and the central and southeastern part of Haute-Vienne. The old province of Limousin is entirely contained inside the modern Limousin region.

* Marche: most of the Creuse department and the north of the Haute-Vienne. The old province of Marche is almost entirely contained inside the current Limousin region, with only a small part of Marche being now in the Centre region.

Beside these two main provinces, Limousin is also composed of small parts of other former provinces:

* Angoumois: extreme south-west of Haute-Vienne
* Poitou: extreme west of Haute-Vienne
* Auvergne: extreme east of Creuse
* Berry: extreme north of Creuse

Today the province of Limousin is the most populated part of the Limousin region. Limoges, the historical capital and largest city of the province of Limousin is the capital of the Limousin administrative region.


With a slowly rising population of just under 750,000, Limousin is the second least populated French region in Metropolitan France after Corsica. There are fewer inhabitants in Limousin than in the city of Marseille.

The population of Limousin is aging and, until 1999, it was declining. The Creuse department has the oldest population of any in France. Between 1999 and 2004 the population of Limousin increased slightly, reversing a decline for the first time in decades.Fact|date=April 2008

Major communities

* Brive-la-Gaillarde
* Guéret
* Limoges
* Saint-Junien
* Tulle
* Ussel


Limousin is an essentially rural region. Famed for some of the best beef farming in the world, herds of Limousin cattle—a distinctive chestnut red—are a common sight in the region. In addition to cattle, the region is also a major timber producing area.

Due to its rural locality it is also famed for their French Oak orchards, so prized for its distinct characters and flavors in wine fermentation that only vintner Rémy Martin has exclusive rights to their oak orchards. It is a partnership that is over 100 years old.

The regional capital, Limoges, was once an industrial power-base, world-renowned for its porcelain and is still a leader and innovator in electric equipment factories (which used porcelain as an insulator originally). However, large factories are now few in number.


Corrèze is the department of the former President of France, Jacques Chirac, and home to François Hollande (first secretary of the Socialist Party).

Geography and climate

The Limousin region is almost entirely an upland area. The lowest land is in the north-west of the region (approximately 250 m above sea level) and the highest land is roughly in the south-east (approximately 1000 m above sea level). However, the greater part of the region is above 350 m. There are numerous important rivers in the Limousin such as the Dordogne, Vienne, Creuse and Cher. The region is well-known for the high-quality of its water and for offering first rate fishing.

Although summer temperatures often exceed 32 °C – and have even reached 42 °C – the Limousin region has a damper and milder climate than its neighbours. Winters are often long and cold, especially in the higher areas, and snow is not at all uncommon.

The area around Brive in the Corrèze has more than 2000 hours per year of sunshine, the same as the southern city of Toulouse.

Culture and literature

Until the 1970s, Occitan was the primary language of rural areas. There remain several different Occitan dialects in use in Limousin, although their use is rapidly declining:

* Lemosin/Limousin
* Languedocien (quercynois)
* Auvergnat
* Marchois

The authors Jean Blanzat and Jean Giraudoux were both born in Bellac, in the Haute-Vienne. The artist Paul Rebeyrolle was born in the Limousin and British artist Geoff Bunn is now based there. Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac was born in Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat, Haute-Vienne.

See also

* Wine barrels
* TER Limousin


External links

* [ Limousin regional council website] , with a presentation video in English.
* [ Art in the Limousin region]
* [ History and Geography (University of Limoges)]

* [ Information site for the English community in Limousin]
* [ Photos from Limousin]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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