Visit Saint-Leonard-de-Noblat (Limousin, France)
Saint-Leonard-de-Noblat is a small town situated to the east of Limoges, in the Haute-Vienne department of Limousin (central France).
The town originally developed as an important medieval pilgrimage centre, the pilgrims attracted by the tomb of Saint-Leonard, and still falls on an important pilgrimage route.
A visit to Saint-Leonard centres around its attractive and architecturally important roman style collegiale church, the narrow streets lined with medieval houses that surround it, and two open squares: the Place Gay-Lussac (next to the cathedral) and the Place de la Republique (a little to the north). See also the smaller Place Noblat just of the Place de la Republique.
The historical centre is broadly defined by the boulevards that surround the town - these have replaced the defensive walls and moats that originally defended the town.
The collegiale itself dates originally from the 11th century. Built originally in the roman style it has subsequent gothic modifications and, as one of the destinations on the Vezelay pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostelle, it is also officially listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Particular highlights include the belltower and porch (note how the belltower changes from a square design to octagonal towards the top) and the tomb of Saint-Leonard (single women might like to touch the lock on Saint-Leonards chain above the tomb - apparently you will soon be blessed with a husband and children if you do touch it).
Elsewhere in the town
The streets around the collegiale are worth exploring - many of the houses are half-timbered, others are grander houses in stone, and many have interesting little features to discover. The original town hall is just next to the cathedral and has some decorative stonework in the facade.
There are also various buildings that originally formed part of the collegiale complex, such as the Convent of Filles Notre-Dame and the entrance to the Pilgrim Hospital (junction of Boulevard Carnot and Rue Georges Perin).
On the Place de la Republique note particularly the two houses with towers. One of the towers is square, the other round, and both houses were built in the 17th century.
After exploring the town centre take an amble along the river Vienne to see some more attractive houses and scenery, and a bridge dating from the 13th century (and two newer bridges).
There are also a couple of small museums in Saint-Leonard-de-Noblat. One of them is dedicated to Gay-Lussac, the renowned 18th century chemist. If you studied chemistry at school you perhaps remember the name Gay-Lussac - he came up with a law to do with the volumes of gases they are combined. I'll spare you the details here, but if you'd like a refresher course the museum is in the Convent of Filles Notre-Dame.
At the Moulin du Got you can see the history of paper making techniques and its historical importance to the region, in a paper mill that was in production from the 15th century to the 1950's and has more recently been restored as museum.
Note: see copyright for photo of Collegiale de St Leonard de Noblat
Photos taken within 10 km
Tourist classifications for Saint-Leonard-de-Noblat
Saint-Leonard-de-Noblat is classified as a recommended detour town (plus beau detour)
Address: Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat, Limoges, Haute-Vienne, Limousin, 87400 || GPS: latitude 45.8383, longitude 1.49139
Map of Saint-Leonard-de-Noblat & places nearby
Highlights close by
See lots more places to visit nearby and a more detailed map at places near Saint-Leonard-de-Noblat.
See Limousin and Haute-Vienne (the region and department for Saint-Leonard-de-Noblat) for more travel ideas...
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Saint-Leonard-de-Noblat, France
- Saint-Leonard de Noblat église (monuments on French pilgrim routes) - heritage site
- Limoges - town of art and history (18km)
- Aquarium du Limousin - aquarium (18km)
- Pierre-Buffiere - village d'etape (19km)
- Abbatial church de Saint Pierre (Solignac) - religious monument (19km)
- Magnac-Bourg - village d'etape (25km)
- Bessines-sur-Gartempe - village d'etape (32km)
- Saint-Hilaire-les-Places - ville fleurie 4* (34km)
- Treignac - most beautiful village (41km)
- Saint-Yrieix-la-Perche - recommended detour (42km)
The French version of this page is at Saint-Leonard-de-Noblat (Francais)