Uzerche travel guide

Photo of Uzerche

Visit Uzerche (Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France)

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The historic town of Uzerche is in the Correze department of Limousin to the north of Brive-la-Gaillarde and in a pretty riverside setting surrounded by tree covered hills.

The medieval old town is spread out along a rocky outcrop, which is encircled by a meander in the Vézère River. Uzerche is often referred to as the 'Pearl of the Limousin' (a description first used by an 18th century writer).

Exploring Uzerche

France This Way review: it is quite unusual to come across a town that exceeds our expectations as we travel around, and it was a pleasant and unexpected surprise to discover that Uzerche was a far more interesting and attractive town than we had expected as well as benefitting from a very scenic location.

The medieval town in Uzerche is quite extensive, with a row of impressive buildings spread out along the fortifications and looking down on the Vézère River. There are also a few streets of old houses behind these ramparts. Many of the most noteworthy buildings have information placards explaining their historical origins.

You can park in the car park marked 'vieille ville' which is the best placed for exploring Uzerche old town.

street in Uzerche old town

Soon after entering the centre of Uzerche from the south you will see a flight of stairs to the left. This is the Escalier du Lavoir, and if you descend the staircase you reach the river, and a small washhouse built in 1910. The stairs were originally next to the wall of a castle, now demolished.

Note there are 150 steps to reach the lavoir, and the town is quite extensive, so you might like to explore the historic centre of Uzerche before using all your energy on these stairs!

Continue along Rue Jean Gentet to reach the town centre. This is one of the most attractive streets in Uzerche, with numerous beautiful houses incorporating architectural elements from the 16th and 17th centuries.

You pass through the Porte Bécharie on this street, oiginally one of nine entrances that controlled access to the centre of Uzerche, but now the only one that remains. The gate originally had a drawbridge and a second gate in the place where you see the stat of the Escalier du Lavoir.

Connected to the Porte Bécharie is a stone house of the 15th century, called the Hotel de Clédat. Originally built by the wealthy Clédat family, the house was later used as an auberge for pilgrims passing through Uzerche.

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To your right there is a staircase that leads to the Place des Vignerons, where you can see the Chapel Notre-Dame de Bécharie, from the 15th century, and the Prince Noir Tower, part of the original defences of the town. The square takes its name from the wine fair that took place here in the Middle Ages.

Two of the main buildings overlooking the river here are the Maison Boyer Chammard, easily recognisable by its impressive balconies, and the Hotel des Joyet de Maubec. These two buildings date from the 16th to 18th centuries.

In the heart of Uzerche you reach a large square called the Place de la Liberation. This square is connected to the Place de la Lunade, which has some of the best views across the Vézère valley to be found in the townin the town.

The main monument on the square is the abbey church Saint-Pierre, a church built as part of a benedictine abbey complex tht was built in the 11th century. The church preserves several impressive characteristics of roman style architecture, such as the apse with its sercies of small chapels joined by a path called an ambulatory.

To the side of the church you can access the crypt, which follows the same layout as the apse above, and is the oldest church crypt in Limousin.

Just behind the cathedral, the large stone building that you can see is the Primary School, built in 1907 and with beautiful views across the Vézère valley.

Abbey church Saint-Etienne in Uzerche

To complete your tour of the town centre of Uzerche, follow the Rue P. Chalaud towards the north.

This road leads past some charming houses of colombage and the Chateau de Tayac. A manor house rather than a castle, the Chateau de Tayac is a very attractive stone building with a round tower in the center of the facade. You will also see the Chateau Pontier, also a manor house dominated by its round towers.

There are many other interesting buildings and several smaller houses with features of architectural interest - ornate stone doorways, turrets etc: there are really quite a remarkable number of monuments for one town

There are good views from the higher parts of Uzerche, especially the region around Saint Eulalie which can be accessed either by a small road above the fortifications, or by a steep flight of stairs that winds up past the terraces below the castle.

After exploring the old town head down into the valley below where you can walk along the banks of the Vezere River, with tables provided for picnics and nice views of the river with the old town behind.

old houses in Uzerche

Attractions nearby

Because of its location, Uzerche is well placed for those wishing to pursue outdoor sports such as canoeing, hiking, mountain biking and mountain climbing.

The chateau and Haras National at Arnac-Pompadour is 20 kilometres to the west of Uzerche, and other recommended places to visit include the villages at Treignac (to the north-east) and Segur-le-Chateau (to the west). Both of these villages are classified among the 'most beautiful in France' and within about 20 kilometres of Uzerche.

At the village of Vigeois you can see a charming 11th century church and a medieval bridge across the Vézère river.

Explore elsewhere in the Massif Central. You can find more travel ideas in the Correze guide and the Limousin guide.

See also: 

Photos of Uzerche

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Arrange a visit to Uzerche

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Hotels in Uzerche

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Map of Uzerche and places nearby

 
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Visit near Uzerche with France This Way reviews

Arboretum Al Gaulhia

Arboretum Al Gaulhia

The Arboretum Al Gaulhia is a 10 hectare arboretum with gardens and ponds, and a wide range of impressive trees

Arboretum Al Gaulhia guide
Vigeois

Vigeois

Vigeois is a village with a pretty medieval bridge on the Vézère river and an 11th century abbey church to see

Vigeois guide
Lubersac

Lubersac

Lubersac is a small town in Corrèze with a church and a 15th century house among its historic monuments

Lubersac guide
Arnac-Pompadour

Arnac-Pompadour

The village of Arnac-Pompadour is centre for a Haras National, and also has an imposing 15th century castle

Arnac-Pompadour guide
Saint-Bonnet-la-Rivière

Saint-Bonnet-la-Rivière

Saint-Bonnet-la-Rivière is a small village with an unusual round church in the Corrèze countryside

Saint-Bonnet-la-Rivière guide
Segur-le-Chateau

Segur-le-Chateau

The part of Segur-le-Chateau with medieval houses next to the river is especially beautiful, but elsewhere there is also much to enjoy

Segur-le-Chateau guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Correze

Tourist classifications for Uzerche

Uzerche is classified as a recommended place to break a long journey (village d'etape)

Address: Uzerche, Tulle, Limousin, 19140, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 45.416, longitude 1.5666

Plan your visit to Uzerche, Correze

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Segur-le-Chateau: most beautiful village (20 km)
  • Donzenac: village d'etape (21 km)
  • Treignac: most beautiful village (22 km)
  • Magnac-Bourg: village d'etape (25 km)
  • Cascades de Gimel: site of natural beauty (26 km)
  • Saint-Yrieix-la-Perche: recommended detour (30 km)
  • Pierre-Buffiere: village d'etape (35 km)
  • Gouffre de la Fage: site of natural beauty (35 km)
  • Jardins du château de Hautefort: remarkable garden (37 km)
  • Jardins de l'Imaginaire: remarkable garden (38 km)
  • Collonges-la-Rouge: most beautiful village (40 km)
  • Turenne: most beautiful village (40 km)

The French version of this page is at Uzerche (Francais)

 
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