Attractions – Historical Interest

Attractions – Historical Interest

The Limousin is steeped in history; the magnificent tapestries of Aubusson, the renowned porcelain of Limoges, the resting place of Richard the Lionheart, the ancient Pilgrim route of St. Jacques de Compostella and the architecture of a region which gave birth to the masons who built Notre Dame and the Louvre.


See the following link for information on the local town: La Souterraine

Below is a small selection of things to see and do.


Le chateau de Crozant

Crozant castle is located on the rocky outcrop at the junction of the river Creuse and the river Sedelle. The fortress would have been invulnerable but for wars, abandonment and an earthquake in 1606, which have left the castle in ruins. Nevertheless, the beauty of the site has ispired a number of impressionist painters.


Sous Parsat church

Magnificent stained glass windows and modern brightly coloured frescoes by local artist Gabriel Chabrat. The walls and ceiling are completely covered with paintings depicting the Old and New Testament.



At 2pm on 10 June 1944, the SS Division ‘Das Reich’ killed 642 people, including nearly 300 children, and burned the village. The people were gathered in the fairground, groups of men divided into barns, to be shot down or burned. Women and children locked in the church to suffer the same fate. The 15 acres of ruins have been maintained in the same condition as in the aftermath of the massacre. The conservation of Oradour is unique and intensely moving. The cemetery is home to one of the few remaining lanterns of the dead in Limousin.


Tour de Bridiers

The Tower of Bridiers is situated on a hill surrounded by wetlands, four kilometres from the historic centre of La Souterraine. Formerly, the headquarters of the Viscount of Bridiers, visitors can visit the restored Tower and medieval garden at its foot.


Porte Saint-Jean

The Saint-Jean gate was built in the thirteenth century and served as a prison until 1860. It is all that remains of the former ramparts of La Souterraine.

La Souterraine

Notre-Dame church and crypt

Around 1015, the Viscount of Bridiers, Gerald Crozant, gave the crypt to the Abbey of St. Martial de Limoges whose monks restored and enlarged it, with local support. In August 1022, the Viscount was buried there. La Souterraine is a stopping point along the Way of St James pilgrimage route to St. Jacques de Compostela in Spain. This was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times. The white stone on the church tower continues to guide modern day pilgrims to this day.


Route of Richard the Lionheart

This route links together the amazing castles, churches and historical site of Limousin and bordering departments forming a fortified barrier to the south of the region.