The Limousin capital is so ugly it should have been called La Moche, not Limoges. The city is famous the world over for its pottery, but it isn’t known for its architectural beauty. There’s a good reason for that.
I couldn’t avoid Limoges as we began making our way towards Dieppe this weekend, as it is a natural stepping stone north of Bergerac.
It is its Place de la République – an architectural crime committed in the 1960s – that lets the city down.
I first came across it when I made the journey the other way, heading south. It was a cold February in 1987 and I was studying in Rennes. My friend Lindsey and I went to visit some other student friends in Limoges.
We didn’t have much money, so we decided to hitchhike from Brittany to the Limousin. En route, I remember being dropped off in the middle of the night on the outskirts of Le Mans. As we went knocking on strangers’ doors asking if they could put us up for the night, we began to regret our chosen mode of transport.
We’d certainly had enough of hitchhiking by the time we got to Limoges – and aesthetics aside, we were very glad to see the city.
Yesterday, Damon and I were less than thrilled to see it, not least because it means our holiday is drawing to an end. Tonight we will be on the ferry back to Newhaven.