Visit Collonges-la-Rouge (Limousin, France)
Collonges-la-Rouge, one of the 'most beautiful villages of France', is 23 kilometres southeast of Brive in the Limousin. Collonges-la-Rouge is a very attractive village, and very popular with visitors to the region - the first thing you will notice is the colour of the place - more or less all the houses have been constructed from the local sandstone, which is very red!
History of Collonges la Rouge
The village dates from the 8th century and the founding of a priory here by monks from Charroux (now in Poitou-Charentes). Collonges itself then developed around the church and priory in the following centuries, with a further boost in the 13th century when the inhabitants were granted exemption from taxes by the Viscounts of Turenne. Over the following centuries many local noblemen and businessmen built houses and castles in and around the village.
The village prospered with income from vineyards until the end of the 19th century when phylloxera destroyed the vines (as it did in many parts of France). More recently the village has focussed on developing a local industry based on tourism.
Collonges la Rouge is a lovely place to explore, as each winding pathway and alley leads to another (red!) turreted house or pretty patch of garden. (We did notice that some of the houses have the remnants of crepi/render on the walls - perhaps originally the stone was covered up and the town was less red?)
A small village, Collonges-la-Rouge won't take long to explore but contains many notable monuments. These include:
- the 12th century roman style Church of Saint Peter - note in particular the carvings above the entrance
- the Chapel of the Black Penitents
- several grand houses dating from the 16th century eg the house of the Ramade de la Serre (with a square tower); the House of the Mermaid (with a carving of a mermaid outside); the houses of the Vassinhacs, Maussacs, Benges...
- the lovely renaissance building called the Court of the Chatellenie
- a traditional bread oven
Aside from the individual properties, the main building of interest in the village is the 11th century Saint-Pierre church. Particularly striking - in part for its quality, and in part because it has the only white stone to be seen in Collonges-la-Rouge, in the work above the doorway.
If possible visit the town outside high season to avoid some of the crowds. (Note: Collonges la Rouge is one of the few 'most beautiful villages in France' outside Provence to demand payment for parking..2 euros at the time of writing).
There are lots of very picturesque villages set in the scenic countryside around Collonges-la-Rouge. Two of them - Curemonte and Turenne - are also listed among the most beautiful villages of France, while Martel is a slightly larger historic town nearby.
Photos of Collonges-la-Rouge
Click any picture to start the gallery
Tourist classifications for Collonges-la-Rouge
Collonges-la-Rouge is classified as a one of the most beautiful village in France (plus beau villages)
Address: Collonges-la-Rouge, Meyssac, Brive-la-Gaillarde, Correze, Limousin, 19500 || GPS: latitude 45.061, longitude 1.6555
Map of Collonges-la-Rouge & places nearby
Highlights close by
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Collonges-la-Rouge, France
- Turenne - most beautiful village (6km)
- Curemonte - most beautiful village (10km)
- Gouffre de la Fage - site of natural beauty (11km)
- Eglise de Saint Pierre (Carennac) - religious monument (17km)
- Carennac - most beautiful village (17km)
- Donzenac - village d'etape (21km)
- Castelnau-Bretenoux Chateau - national monument (22km)
- Abbaye Sainte Marie (Souillac) - religious monument (23km)
- Gouffre de Padirac - site of natural beauty (24km)
- Loubressac - most beautiful village (24km)
The French version of this page is at Collonges-la-Rouge (Francais)