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Saint Léonard de Noblat - a mediaeval town

St Léonard de Noblat is a beautiful mediaeval town that lies in the verdant countryside of the Limousin region in southern central France, to the east of the city of Limoges. The town occupies a commanding position on top of a hill looking down onto the River Vienne, and out over the lush pasture land, lovely lakes and pretty woodlands for which the Limousin is so famous. St Léonard is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

So good they named it twice...

No, not New York this time, but the streets of St Léonard! Sticking with a musical theme, St Léonard is a town where it's definitely not true to say the streets have no name, because every street in this town has not one, but two names! Each street sign gives not only the modern French name for the street, but also the mediaeval name. The mediaeval charm doesn't just lie in the names, either, for St Léonard is the real deal, with original architecture, narrow streets redolent of days gone by and full of interesting history and tradition.

Things to discover in Saint Léonard de Noblat

St Léonard de Noblat is the home town of several famous people, not only of Léonard de Noblat. The bicycle racer Raymond Poulidor came from here as did the chemist and physicist Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac. In fact you can visit the Gay-Lussac Museum, where the life and work of the famous scientist is chronicled. There are more museums to visit too. You can discover more about the beautiful porcelain made in the region by visiting one of the three working porcelain factories in the town. Then there is a fascinating museum dedicated to the art of paper making, which is set in a restored 15th century paper mill, le Moulin de Got. Paper manufacture was another traditional economic force in St Léonard. It is also possible to see the tomb of St Léonard himself, at the pretty little 11th century church in the town.

Town Life

St Léonard has plenty to offer in terms of town life as well as history. There are excellent shops, supermarkets and services to be found locally, making everyday life relaxing and simple, including a cinema and a library. The town has range of restaurants and bars too, where you can enjoy the acclaimed locally produced specialities such as Limousin beef, apples, chestnuts and mushrooms... the cuisine is traditionally simple, rustic, delicious and hearty.

Festivals and markets

There are lots of events, shows, festivals and carnivals held in the town throughout the year, as well as markets, including night markets in the summer and a Christmas market.

Out and about

There are many places of interest to visit, and in particular you should take time to spend a quiet moment or two in the nearby memorial village of Oradour sur Glane, scene of a terrible Nazi atrocity during the war. There are many happier possibilities too with a beautiful leisure lake on the doorstep, Lac de Vassiviere, being perfect for lovers of fishing or water sports. There are some superb walking and cycling trails here and of course the beauty of nature all around.

How to get there

The airport of Limoges is near enough to be very handy, which is served by Ryanair and flybe, and when the new airport at Brive la Gaillard opens there will be even more choice for travel to and from the UK. The TGV also goes to Limoges, making train travel another good choice. Travelling by road, the town is found along the N141.

Property prices and availability in and around Saint Léonard de Noblat

The Limousin is said to be one of the cheapest areas in France for property, and although prices are rising as more and more people discover the delights of the region, it is still a great place to look if you want to grab yourself a bargain.

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Saint Léonard de Noblat AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Saint Léonard de Noblat?

Saint Léonard de Noblat is located to the west of central France. It lies in the east of the Haute-Vienne department.

Saint Léonard de Noblat Property Map


Limousin Guide

Limousin Property Map


Haute-Vienne Guide

  Haute-Vienne Map

Population: 4,764

Access: By air: Limoges airport is nearby. The new airport scheduled for Brive la Gaillard will also be useful. By rail: The TGV will take you to Limoges from Paris. By road: Travelling by road you will find the town along the N141.

Economy: The economy is based round the making of porcelain.

Interesting fact: The town of Saint Léonard de Noblat was named after Léonard of Noblat, who became the patron saint of prisoners, after being responsible for the liberation of prisoners in the 5th and 6th centuries.

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