City of the Famous Porcelain
Limoges is the capital of Haute-Vienne department of the Limousin region in France. It sits on the picturesque right bank of the Vienne River. Limoges is a fascinating historic city of ancient buildings, quaint old streets, museums, gardens and galleries. It was founded in 16 BC by the Roman Emperor Augustus and first named Augustoritum after him. Today archæologies continue to unearth Roman villas and other remains.
The city is famous for its beautiful porcelain and enamels. Enamel-making started in the twelfth century and after the discovery of kaolin, a local clay, Limoges became famous for its porcelain developed from this clay and painted by artisans who migrated to this area. You can find dozens of shops selling this incredible porcelain made into serving pieces, statuary, jewelry and the famous collectible Limoges boxes. Each is a piece of art. The process of sculpting the pieces is only part of the process. Artisans actually paint watercolor designs which are transferred to the porcelain and then many processes of firing make each piece a treasure that will look the same even after 100 years of use.
Even if you're not a collector of this amazing porcelain, a visit to the local shops will make you appreciate the value of these works of art. I am fortuante to have a few pieces of this incredible porcelain made in Limoges. It was one of the hightlights of my trip to France to see so much of it.