Aubusson, Creuse: tourism & sightseeing
Visit Aubusson (Limousin, France)
The town is best known for its long history as a producer of fine tapestries and rugs, dating from the 15th century, and this is the main reason that people visit Aubusson. The tapestries produced in the town have traditionally represented landscapes, hunting scenes and idealised portraits of characters, although the 20th century also saw some modern designs emerging.
France This Way comment: it is true that the region between Clermont-Ferrand and Limoges is not the most visited region in France, but if you do find yourself nearby a visit to Aubusson to see the tapestry museum and the old town is definitely recommended
The main attraction in the town is the Museum of Tapestry (the Cité International de la Tapisserie), which contains a collection of tapestries from the last 400 years. This new museum is very interesting to visit with a quite remarkable range of tapestries to admire. The main exhibition is in chronological order, and you will also learn all about the history and manufacture of tapestries.
There is more to see in Aubusson than just tapestries, however, and the town itself merits an exploration - the centre is small, and quick and easy to explore, and very charming.
The 'old town' in Aubusson is centred around the 17th century stone bridge over the river Creuse, the Pont de la Terrade, which connects the region where the workers traditionally lived and the workshops where the rugs were produced. The medieval house at the end of the bridge is called the Chatelet de la Terrade, while the rest of the old town contains many ancient houses and is the highlight of a visit.
It is the unusual chemical composition of the river Creuse that naturally fixed the pigments to the tapestries, that was the reason why tapestry production first developed here.
The building with a tower next to the Aubusson tourist office on Rue Vieille in the centre of the town dates from the 16th century and is now open to the public, with the history of tapestry work explained through a good number of exhibits and examples of tapestry work. There are also various other workshops and galleries in the town.
A little way south of here you can see a church that dates in part from the 13th century (you can also see some tapestries inside the church). Much of the appeal of Aubusson architecture lies in the attention to detail such as ancient doorways and pretty balconies so allow time to explore.
Elsewhere in Aubusson you will see some other interesting buildings, such as the clock tower (originally a watchtower within Aubusson fortifications), the renaissance style Maison des Vallenet and Maison du Tapissier and the ruins of an 11th century castle. The Town Hall is an unusual example of Art Deco architecture in France.
The countryside around Aubusson, including the 'Regional Natural Park of Millevaches' is an attractive mix of forests, mountains separated by cascading rivers, and small scale farming.
You can find more local travel ideas in the Limousin guide.
Map of Aubusson and places nearby
Visit near Aubusson with France This Way reviews
Tourist classifications for Aubusson
Aubusson is classified as a recommended detour town (plus beau detour)
Address: Aubusson, Limousin, 23200, France || GPS: latitude 45.9569, longitude 2.16833
Plan your visit to Aubusson, Creuse
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Gouzon: village d'etape (27 km)
- Lac de Vassivière: site of natural beauty (29 km)
Market days in Aubusson, France
Regular market(s) are held in Aubusson each Saturday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Aubusson (Francais)