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The Haute-Vienne (department number 87) is located in the region of Limousin and has an estimated population of 371,102 (approximate in 2007). The department is named after the Vienne river. The capital of the Haute-Vienne is Limoges.
The three arrondissements (districts) of Haute-Vienne are Limoges, Bellac and Rochechouart. The other towns in the department each have fewer than 20,000 inhabitants.
Why you should visit Haute-Vienne for your next holiday in France
The varied landscape of forests, countryside and lakes attract many tourists each year looking for a range of activities including walking, fishing, sailing, boating and skiing. In addition, the department has a strong historical and cultural heritage and the landscape is dotted with Roman churches, abbeys and fortified castles. Beautiful man-made beaches are easily accessible and are an excellent alternative for a great day out. In particular, the Lake of Vassiviere, created in 1950, is extremely popular with visitors.
The department has a semi-continential climate with summer temperatures in the mid 20's, perfect for enjoying the scenery. In contrast, the winters can feel very cool and temperatures are an average 6-7 degrees celsius.
What to see in Haute-Vienne
Limoges is famed for its production of enamel and fine china and its oak barrels, which are used for the production of cognac.
Known for its theatrical heritage and ample fishing opportunities on the nearby Lake St-Pardoux. Festival Bellac is particularly popular during the summer months of June and July.
Oradour sur Glane
Home to the horrifying masacre of 642 people on 10 June 1944, burnt alive by the German forces. The original village remains unchanged since that date and serves as a memorial and reminder of the tragic loss of lives. There is also a musuem, which houses personal items recovered on that devastating day. The modern day village of Oradour sur Glane was built to the northwest of the site.
Rochechouart is on the Limousin border, about 40 km from Limoges. As well as the château and the Romanesque and Gothic church with a museum of prehistory, there is also the Rochechouart "Espace Météorite" (Meteorite Center), which is worth a visit.