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Cobbled streets and a castle

The town of Rochechouart in the department of Haute-Vienne is a pretty place, with quaint cobbled streets and attractive old higgledy piggledy houses. There are some interesting little shops, banking facilities, and a good selection of cafés and restaurants. The town is dominated by a magnificent castle, which was once the home of the Viscount of Rochechouart. The castle looks as though it has come straight from a fairytale, with its beautiful towers and drawbridge. The first castle to be built here was constructed in the tenth century from wood, but it was rebuilt in stone in the twelfth century. Parts of the castle, including the drawbridge and the dungeons, were added later. The castle was ordered to be destroyed in the French Revolution, but due to the extreme hardness of the local stone it proved strong enough to survive the worst of the onslaught.

Modern art in an ancient setting

The castle is now home to a small but excellent and fascinating collection of modern art, with a special focus on the work of Raoul Haussman. The castle itself is not open to visitors, but if you enter the art gallery you have the advantage of seeing some of the castle interior as well as the contemporary art!

Meteorite Museum

A fascinating part of the history of Rochechouart is the fact that the town is built on the site of a meteor strike, many centuries ago. This is commemorated by a museum, and a visit to this is highly informative and greatly recommended. In the summer there are guided tours of the site of the strike. Many of the buildings in the town still contain traces of the meteorite materials in their stones.

Out and about

Rochechouart may be a quiet little place hidden deep in the Limousin countryside, but there is plenty to see and do in the area. Once you have been to the art gallery and the museum in the town itself, try venturing a little further afield and pay a visit to the nearby tragic town of Oradour-sur-Glane, which is preserved just as it was the day the Nazis massacred the townsfolk. If that is too sad for you, there are other more uplifting activities available. The lovely Limousin countryside is ideal for walking, horse-riding is offered by local stables and there is a hire shop in the town for the cyclists amongst you. Fishermen too will find opportunities to pursue their hobby in some of the beautiful lakes and rivers found in the area.

How to get there

Ryanair, the low cost airline, flies to nearby Limoges from Liverpool, Stansted and East Midlands airports. If you prefer to fly from Southampton this is also possible with flybe. Rail travel is another possibility, as you can take Eurostar to Paris then catch a TGV fast train to Limoges.

Property prices and availability in and around Rochechouart

Limousin is known as one of the last bastions of bargain property in France. Property prices in Rochechouart and its surrounding area remain reasonable in comparison with many other places in France. There is a good variety of property available, including interesting and appealing properties such as houses with their own fishing lakes, ideal for conversion to gîte complexes. The area does have a good holiday market, as it is a magnet for outdoor sports enthusiasts due to its extensive wide open spaces and lakes.

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Rochechouart AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Rochechouart?

Rochechouart is located in western France. It lies in the extreme west of the department of the Haute-Vienne, very close to this department's border with Charente.

Rochechouart Property Map


Limousin Guide

Limousin Property Map


Haute-Vienne Guide

  Haute-Vienne Map

Population: 3,815

Access: By air: Fly to Limoges with Ryanair from Liverpool, East Midlands or Stansted.By rail: Travel by Eurostar from London to Paris then TGV to Limoges.

Economy: The traditional economy of the region is agriculture, but Rochechouart also has a large packaging factory, which provides employment for townspeople, and a meteorite museum and an art gallery which bring tourism to the town.

Interesting fact: Rochechouart was struck by a massive meteorite many centuries ago, and traces of the meteorite materials are still found in the buildings of the town today.


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