Rochechouart, Haute-Vienne: tourism & sightseeing
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Visit Rochechouart (Limousin, France)
Rochechouart is a town in the Haute-Vienne department of Limousin, not far from Limoges.
The town labels itself as 'the countryside of the meteorite', because 214 million years ago an enormous six billion tonne meteorite smashed into this spot - probably one of the largest meteorites ever to hit the earth - although little evidence now remains of this catastrophic event.
Assuming that you are not concerned about 'lightning striking the same place twice' and you visit Rochechouart today you will find a pretty walled town, and an attractive castle.
The Chateau de Rochechouart dates its origins to the 13th century, but was much modified in later centuries to create a more comfortable living environment. Subsequently taken over by the local council, the Chateau is now home to the interesting Museum of Modern Art, both indoors and in the surrounding gardens. An unexpected highlight of the town, the museum has a large collection of modern art and installations and also has frequent temporary exhibitions.
One other interesting edifice in Rochechouart is the Church Saint-Sauveur. This roman style church dates from the 11th century although the clocktower was not added until the 15th century. Of particular interest is the spire, added later still (in the 18th century) and with a twisting octagonal design that is very unusual (if you are an enthusiast of twisting spires, you can also see a similar design at St Come d'Olt in the Aveyron department).
Note that the name of the town is not due to the meteorite (roche is French for rock), but after the rock on which it is built.
If you are an enthusiast of roman style architecture you might like to visit the small church at nearby Biennac. The Roman Baths at nearby Chassenon are also worth a look if you are in this part of Limousin.
Rochechouart is also a gateway town to the Regional Natural Parc of the Perigord-Limousin, which is a protected natural region to the south-east of the town.
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Map of Rochechouart and places nearby
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Address: Rochechouart, Limousin, 87600, France || GPS: latitude 45.823, longitude 0.8217
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Abbaye de Saint-Amand (Saint-Junien): religious monument (9 km)
- Site Corot: site of natural beauty (10 km)
- Jardin de Liliane: remarkable garden (12 km)
- Réserve naturelle régionale Étang de la Monnerie: site of natural beauty (13 km)
- Abbatiale de Saint Pierre (Lesterps): religious monument (21 km)
- Perigord-Limousin: regional natural parc (24 km)
- Confolens: town of art and history (24 km)
- Grotte de Montgaudier: site of natural beauty (32 km)
- Saint-Hilaire-les-Places: ville fleurie 4* (33 km)
The French version of this page is at Rochechouart (Francais)