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The Santiago De Compostela Routes

During the Middle Ages, the Limousin, land of saints, saw pilgrims come to venerate the relics housed in the abbeys and priories built by monk builders. The Limousin was marked, especially during the 12th century, by the extensive development of the pilgrimage to Santiago De Compostela. It gave its name to the second of the four routes that cross France to gather into one single route in Spain - the "Camino Francès".

This "Limousin Route" is today, a European cultural itinerary: the official route for Santiago De Compostela pilgrims coming from Vézelay. Other routes that cross the region are available to pilgrims so they can  meet up with the official itineraries: the Bruges itinerary and the Limousin mountain route. All along these routes you'll discover the architectural and artistic heritage of the Limousin.

The French Company of the Friends of Santiago De Compostela©  was founded in July 1950 by art historians and archivists who loved Saint James, Compostela and Spain and, for many, had gone on the pilgrimage. Due to their meticulous work, the non-profit organisation has recreated the traditional pilgrimage routes in France.

The itinerary enters into the Haute-Vienne by the village of Billanges then winds its way to Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat, known for its champion Raymond Poulidor, but also for its 11th-century abbey-church listed as World Heritage by UNESCO, its 13th, 15th and 16th century houses that surround the cathedral, its porcelain and its marzipan cakes.

Then the walker passes through Feytiat to arrive in Limoges, capital of the Limousin.  Crossing the Saint-Etienne bridge they find the 13th, 16th and 19th century Limoges Cathedral. They can stroll along the streets of the "old town",  visit the gardens of the bishop's palace, the national porcelain museum or the Halles Centrales (designed in Gustave Eiffel's workshops) which is just beside the famous rue de la Boucherie.

From Limoges onto Aixe sur Vienne, its "Malassert" bridge and its Jeanne d’Albret tower, ruins of the large fortress belonging to the Limoges viscounts. From there, arrive at Flavignac then Les Cars in the ruins of its Renaissance style château, built at the end of the 15th/beginning 16th century. Then cross Châlus where in the distance can be seen the tour of the 11th-century Châlus-Chabrol château. It was in this village that Richard the Lionheart was fatally wounded in 1199.

 

Warning: the Santiago De Compostela pilgrimage isn't a simple walk. It requires preparation so that the pilgrim can completely enjoy the experience.  Place of encounters, discovery of the surroundings, personal enrichment and a feeling of solidarity, the route renders humble and grateful. Walking to Compostela while following in the steps of thousands of pilgrims is a unique personal experience. It's not a race, a marathon, an obsession for the number of kilometres covered or the first person to get to the gîte. Everyone walks at their own pace, everyone walks their own path.

 

 

Information:

Office de Tourisme de Limoges :

Tel: 05 55 34 46 87

 

Association des Amis de St Jacques de Compostelle Limousin-Périgord

Tel: 05 53 50 73 21

Website: www.compostelle-limousin-perigord.fr 

 

Société Française des Amis de Saint Jacques de Compostelle 

8, rue des Canettes, 75006 Paris

Tel: 01 43 54 32 90

Email

Website: www.compostelle.asso.fr

 

Download the circuit: kml, gpx 

 

Saint-Etienne bridge in Limoges
At feet of Limoges cathedral