For other uses, see Limousin (disambiguation).

Coordinates: 45°41′17″N 1°37′14″E / 45.68795°N 1.620483°E / 45.68795; 1.620483

Region of France


Coat of arms
Country  France
Prefecture Limoges
  President Gérard Vandenbroucke (PS)
  Total 16,942 km2 (6,541 sq mi)
Population (2010-01-01)[1]
  Total 742,770
  Density 44/km2 (110/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code FR-L
GDP (2012)[2] Ranked 21st
Total €17.3 billion (US$24.2 bn)
Per capita €24,354 (US$34,076)
NUTS Region FR6
Website (French)

Limousin (French pronunciation: [limuzɛ̃]; Occitan: Lemosin) is a former administrative region of France. Since 1 January 2016, it is part of the new region Nouvelle Aquitaine.[3] It was composed of three departments: Corrèze, Creuse and Haute-Vienne.

Situated largely in the Massif Central, as of January 1, 2010, the Limousin had 742,770 inhabitants[1] on nearly 17,000 km2, making it the least populated region of mainland France.

Forming part of the southwest of France, Limousin is bordered by the regions of Centre to the north, Poitou-Charentes and Aquitaine to the west, Midi-Pyrénées to the south and Auvergne to the east. Limousin is also part of Occitania.


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

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

Today the province of Limousin is the most populous 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 populous region in Metropolitan France after Corsica.

The population of Limousin is aging and, until 1999, was declining. The department of Creuse 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.[4]

Major communities

Limoges, half-timbered house by the bridge Saint Martial


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. The region is also a major timber producing area.

Due to its rural locality, it is also famed for its groves of French Oak, so prized for its distinct characters and flavors in wine fermentation that vintner Rémy Martin has exclusive rights to its oak groves. 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 still a leader and innovator in electric equipment factories (which originally used porcelain as an insulator). However, large factories are now few in number.

Geography and climate

Bodies of water

Some of the rivers belonging to the Loire basin run through the north, west and east of the region, waterways belonging to that of the Dordogne through the south. The region is crossed by three major rivers: the Vienne, the Dordogne and the Charente (which has its source in Haute-Vienne). The region is well known for the high quality of its water and for offering first-rate fishing.

Small river in Creuse, Limousin


The Limousin region is almost entirely an upland area. The lowest land is in the northwest of the region (approximately 250 m above sea level) and the highest land is roughly in the southeast (approximately 1000 m above sea level). However, the greater part of the region is above 350 m.


Coat of Arms of Limousin
Main article: History of Limousin

Limousin is one of the traditional provinces of France. Its name is derived from the name of a Celtic tribe, the Lemovices which capital was in Saint-Denis-des-Murs and which main sanctuary was recently found in Tintignac, a site which became a major site for the Celtics studies thanks to unique objects which were found such as the carnyces, unique in the whole Celtic world.[5]

Aimar V of Limoges was a notable ruler of the region.


Flag of the Limousin region in France.


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. These are:


Pâté aux pommes de terre is one of the specialties of Limousin, as well as of the neighbouring department of Allier. Clafoutis is a local dessert.


Perhaps due to its rural character, Limousin has maintained a strong tradition of traditional music, with ancient instruments such as the bagpipe (called chabrette, Chabreta in occitan) and hurdy-gurdy remaining popular.

Notable residents

From Corrèze

Main article: Corrèze § People

From Creuse

From Haute-Vienne

See also


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