Modern administrative region and former province of central France; area 16,942 sq km/6,541 sq mi; population (2007 est) 727,000. The modern region consists of the départements of Corrèze, Creuse, and Haute-Vienne. The administrative centre is the historic capital, Limoges, famous for its porcelain; Brive-la-Gaillarde, Tulle, and Gueret are the other towns of note. A thinly populated and largely infertile region, it lies west of the Massif Central mountain range. Fruit and vegetables are produced in the more fertile lowlands. Kaolin, which is used in the porcelain industry, is mined here. The cities of Limoges and Tulle are important markets for cattle raised in the region and for their leather products. Limousin has given its name to a type of cloak that used to be worn here, and to the limousine, a large opulent car.
History Limousin became a fiefdom of the duchy of Aquitaine in 918. In 1152 Limousin came into the possession
of the English when Henry II acquired it as part of his dowry on marrying Eleanor of Aquitaine; but in 1370 it was restored to France, though was not permanently attached to the French crown until 1607. The old province of Limousin also included parts of the départements of Charente and Dordogne.
Physical The rivers Creuse, Vienne, Auvézère, and Corrèze flow through the region. The Monts du Limousin dominate the département of Haute-Vienne. In the centre of the region the Plateau de Millevaches reaches 978 m/3,209 ft.