Aubusson in Limousin is famous worldwide for its tapestries that have been made here since the 14th century.
With roots as far back as Gallo-Roman times and a fort believed to date from the Iron Age, the Camp des Châtres, Aubusson's history is long but predominated by the tapestry industry. First begun here in the 14th century by Flemish settlers, by the 17th century the industry was so well-known that Aubusson tapestries were given the title of by 'Royal Appointment'. Although the industry suffered for a while after the Revolution when wallpaper was invented, the move of asking famous artists such as Dali and Picasso to come to Aubusson and experiment with tapestry weaving brought back some of its popularity in the 1930s. In 2009, Aubusson became listed by UNESCO as a site of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity for its tapestry industry.
The Tapestry Museum in Aubusson is a great place to start your understanding of weaving with a permanent collection of 17th and 18th century tapestries as well as a collection of 20th century creations by Jean Lurcat. Also unmissable is the House of the Tapestry where you can watch demonstrations of weavers today practicing their art. The architecture in Aubusson is wonderful so don't forget to wander through the Terrade district where the weavers and dyers lived beside the Pont de Terrade bridge and admire the clock tower, which was once a watchtower and the only monument remaining from the ancient fortifications. The 11th century château that was home to the viscounts who ruled the town in the Middle Ages is in ruins with only 2 walls remaining - pieces have been built into other buildings including parts of the Terrade district, the Pont de Terrade and the Maison des Vallenet, a beautiful 15th century house that was home to the consuls of Aubusson and has been renovated throughout the centuries. Built in 1933, the Art Deco City Hall is an interesting building with a monumental staircase and its wedding room is decorated with traditional Aubusson tapestries.
If you fancy getting out and about in the countryside, the Regional Natural Park of Millevaches is closeby, a granite plateau of forests, prairies, peat bogs, rivers, moors and springs tha is home to some quaint rural villages built of granite. Taste the riches of this countryside with some great hearty Limousin cuisine, a region of meat dishes, especially beef, and potatoes washed down with Limousin wine.
Why visit Aubusson?
- The Architecture
- The Museums
- Natural Park Millevaches
- Country: France
- Region: Limousin
- Department: Creuse
- Population: 4,150
- Coordinates: 45.95467,2.167249
Coordinates shown are based on the WGS84 system, please check driving directions before departing.