Limoges, a town of France, capital of the department of Haute-Vienne, situated on the right bank of the Vienne, which is here crossed by three bridges, 215 m. S. by W. of Paris; pop. in 1872, 55,134. It is built on the top and side of a hill, and except in its older parts has regular streets, with two handsome squares and many fine edifices. The principal public buildings are the cathedral, a Gothic structure begun in the 13th century, the churches of St. Michel and St. Pierre, the bishop's palace, the public library, which contains 23,000 volumes, the town hall, the theatre, and the beautiful fountain of Aigoulene. The town also contains a theological seminary, a college, an insane asylum, and several institutions of charity. The most flourishing manufacture is that of porcelain, due to the discovery here in 1768 of kaolin. The art of enamelling, for which Limoges was distinguished from the 14th to the 18th century, has since declined. The commerce is active in grain, wine, brandy, iron, copper, tin, and kaolin.
The Limousin horses are a celebrated breed, much valued for the cavalry service. - Limoges was the chief town of the Celtic tribe of the Lemovices. It was a place of importance under the Romans, was ceded to the English by the treaty of Bre-tigny, and formed part of the principality of Aquitaine under Edward the Black Prince, who in 1370 put 3,000 of its inhabitants to the sword in consequence of a revolt against his authority. A conflagration in 1864 destroyed 100 houses. Limoges is one of the oldest strongholds of Roman Catholicism in France, having supplied the church with 4 popes and 60 saints, and possessed more than 40 convents before the revolution.