SAINT-LEONARD-DE-NOBLAT – LIMOGE

 

 

By crossing the river Vienne on the 13th century bridge Pont de Noblat, we left the city and came into the rural area again – a hilly countryside with fields of wheat, forests with blooming sweet chestnut trees, mills and stonewalls overgrown with moss. We left the town together and I continued later at my own speed – a pattern that developed until we departed a few days later in Périgueux.

 

 

View from the 13th century bridge Pont de Noblat

View from the 13th century bridge Pont de Noblat

 

 

Little settlement with a grape vine Growing on the stone façade

Little settlement with a grape vine Growing on the stone façade

 

 

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The Way was not always a clear line to the west and twice I thought I got lost – only to discover that I was on the right way anyway. Like so often on the Way, I passed ancient stone crosses, a sign of the pilgrimage route in the past.

 

 

Path with Cross

Path with Cross

 

I arrived Limoge on a Sunday afternoon and entered the old town of Limoge via the oldest bridge of the whole Via Lemovicensis, the Roman bridge Saint Martial. Limoge is known for the highly sophisticated medieval enamel production, for the music school St. Martial founded in the 11th century and for the Limoge porcelain.

 

 

 Pont Martial with 2 painters

Pont Martial with 2 painters

 

 

2 people painting a window with old military figurines

2 people painting a window with old military figurines

 

The town was pretty empty at the weekend. All the people seemed to have gathered along the river Vienne where a festival was going on.

 

 

Plaza in the old town

Plaza in the old town

 

For the night, I stayed in the convent of the order of the Franciscan sisters, which was a very beautiful place. I was especially intrigued by the spiral stairway leading up to my room.

 

 

Spiral Stairway up to the guest rooms of the Franciscan convent

Spiral Stairway up to the guest rooms of the Franciscan convent

 

Looking out from my window of the convent, I had a perfect view to the 13th century Gothic Cathedral Saint-Etienne. Because of a heavy thunderstorm, the gargoyles surrounding the roofline were spitting water out of their big mouths.

 

 

Cathedral Saint Etienne in the evening sun with a heavy thunderstorm approaching

Cathedral Saint Etienne in the evening sun with a heavy thunderstorm approaching

 

 

 

Gargoyles of St. Etienne

Gargoyles at the North facade

 

 

When I entered the Gothic Cathedral, the huge space was filled with organ music. I loved to just listen to these powerful tones. A row of little angles over the west portal and a modern sculpture of the Black Madonna were especially catching my attention.

 

 

Gothic choir of St. Etienne

Gothic choir of St. Etienne

 

 

Gothic choir of St. Etienne

Gothic choir of St. Etienne

 

 

Black Madonna in the Cathedral St. Etienne

Black Madonna in the Cathedral St. Etienne