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Limeuil, France

       

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Limeuil France 2016

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Limeuil France  -  Summer 2016

At the confluence of the Dordogne and the lesser known Vezere rivers you will find the little known ancient village of Limeuil.

  

The south of Limeuil faces the point where the two rivers meet and from which point the Dordogne continues its *gracious summertime meander towards the west and ultimately, in the company of the Gironde which passes through Bordeaux, the two flow to the Atlantic Ocean.

*In June 2016 severe rain fall caused the Vezere to flood.  However, generally in July and August the farmers abstract sufficient quantities of water for their crops that the river levels are generally low and safe for even the most novice of canoeists to paddle along - even if landing at the appropriate stopping place can be a challenge for some!

 

The confluence of the rivers Dordogne and Vezere at Limeuil where the D51 bridge links with the D51e

The Vezere is pictured at the left of this image entering the Dordogne.  Two road bridges link the land either side of the rivers.

If you arrive on the D31, a small winding road from Tremolat to the west of Limeuil or Le Bugue to the north east, you may be forgiven for accepting Limeuil as a line of cafes and eateries serving the tourists enjoying canoeing or playing in the sedentary stream flowing in the heat of the summer.

Looking up at the roofs of Limeuil 2016

However, small arched pedestrian pathways quickly lead you up into the close quarters of this hillside confection of curious buildings and examples of historical architecture especially from the medieval times.

The narrow access seems steeper than Golden Hill, Shaftesbury where the Hovis Advert was filmed.

Steeper than Golden Hill, Shaftsbury as featured in the Hovis Bread advert, the cobbled track quickly leads up the rocky outcrop on which Limeuil is built.

Fortunately there are a multitude of points at which to stop, catch your breath and enjoy the stunning views across the valley as well as the interesting architectural features.

 

Domestic building built into the cliff side opposite Limeuil, France

 

 

 

You can look to the left as you ascend and see an example of a residence literally built into the cliff side.

 

 

Limeuil served historically as an important port serving the vessels carrying goods along the Vezere and from the Massif Central along the Dordogne en route to Bordeaux. 

One of the points of note is featured on one of the many historical plaques sited throughout Limeuil.   The visitor will note that there are gaps and gullies between some of the houses.  

A plaque explaining the gaps between the buildings which served as waste and rainwater gullies as well as potential fire breaks

These served as open sewers leading waste and rain water away from the buildings and down to the river. Additionally the gaps served as fire breaks.   If you translate the French words below as something different, please email bo@networkingnaturally.com and I will update this text.

 

 

The roof and tower of St Catherines Church Limeuil

Just as it seems one has reached the summit, another turn leads even higher to the Church of St. Catherine, the patron saint of boatmen.  

It presumably is a reflection of the current inhabitants of Limeuil that the church appears to have a predominantly British congregation with textiles containing English rather than French biblical messages.

Monument to those who died in the World War from Limeuil with three french flags flying

Next to the church stands a monument to the French who died in the World War.   It is typical throughout France that such memorials are beautifully maintained and cared for by those who understand the great sacrifice made in the name of freedom.   

 

This area of France was occupied by the Germans in WW2 and in 2015 at St-Cyprien to the east a re-enactment took place to mark the withdrawal of troops from the area.

 

 

 

 

 

Throughout Limeuil there are information plaques – aimed primarily at children but nonetheless informative for adults too.

    

At the summit of a long climb, tourists and residents alike can enjoy a selection of small restaurants situated at the foot the former fortress castle.  

A magnolia flower at the entrance to the gardens at the top of Limeuil France

 

The final surprise Limeuil has to offer is the cosmopolitan arboretum and landscaped gardens which were created in the 19th century and which are open to the public.

 

 

 

A glass blower sign above the artisan workplace and shop in Limeuil

Finally, as you decend from the top of the village return to the Maire and the tranquil gardens. 

Across the road from the Limeuil Office of Tourism, one of the traditional arts of the area is still practiced by artisan worker whose glass works including jewelry and paperweights are for sale in the small shop adjoining his work area.  

It is recommended that you allow at least 1 hour to visit the ancient village of Limeuil, longer obviously if you intend to visit the gardens or enjoy lunch or dinner.   There are properties to rent in the village but access at best is tight with even the smallest car.  There is a day visitor car park, 2 € for 2 hours, 3€ for 4 hours within an easy walk of the river front.   There are a variety of gift shops and a lovely lady from Brittany who sells hats and african textiles and gifts.

 

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The Glass Blowers Sign

 

Stained Glass windows

in St Catherines Church



 
 
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