gare Limoges Bénédictins

10 things that you probably don’t know about Limoges-Bénédictins train station

“One of the most beautiful stations in the world”. Limoges-Bénédictins train station, listed as a Historical Monument since 1975, labelled “20th-century Heritage, is incredibly eye-catching. Its neo-regional style blends together several architectural movements such as Art Nouveau and Art Deco. This year, 2019, it is celebrating its 90th anniversary, but do you really know it?

1. Its location

The ground which the station stands on was once occupied by a leprosarium (today place Maison Dieu). It was adjoined to the Benedictine monastery from which it takes its name.

2. The clock tower

Le campanile et le dôme de la gare de Limoges

This towering 67-metre high tower is taller than that of the Gare de Lyon in Paris. It embraces a clock with four faces linked together so all indicate the same time.

3. The clock

L’une des quatre horloges du campanile de la gare de Limoges

The clock comprises 4 faces featuring Roman numerals, except for the 4, written as IIII and not IV to pursue the clock’s stylistic harmony. Highly-original: the clocks are always 2 minutes ahead of time to ensure traveller punctuality!

4. Its nicknames

Like the Eiffel Tower, the criticized monument was given various nicknames: “thousand-legged giant”, “block of lard” and even “camel hump”.

5. The concourse

Le dôme et ses verrières

Beneath the concourse dome, each wall angle features an allegorical sculpture symbolizing one of the four French provinces served by the Paris-Orléans railway company: Limousin, Brittany, Touraine and Gascogne. Each is illustrated with its own emblems. Limousin is represented by a woman carrying a porcelain vase, ears of wheat, chestnuts and chestnut leaves.

6. Underground passages

les souterrains

Between 1942 and 1945, the station was occupied by German troops. The Germans used an underground passage, located under the railway tracks, as a passive defence shelter. The sign “Réservé à la Wehrmacht” (Wehrmacht only) is still visible.

7. Above the tracks

une gare au dessus des voies

Limoges station is rather unique in that it is built above the tracks and not along them like other stations. A 96 m by 70 m platform, laid perpendicularly, 7 metres above ten railway tracks. The project required over 10,000 m3 of concrete, 1,800 t of steel, 2,800 m3 of stone and 200 labourers.

8. 18 May 1929

The station was inaugurated on 2 July 1929 but the first train ticket was sold there at 6am on 18 May 1929. In 2019, Limoges-Bénédictins train station will blow out its 90 candles.

9. Cinematography

In 2008, Jean-Pierre Jeunet chose Limoges station to shoot the commercial for Chanel N°5 perfume: “Train de nuit”, starring French actress Audrey Tautou.

10. The fire

Dôme gare Limoges

Like Notre-Dame de Paris in 2019, Limoges station was almost destroyed by fire in 1998. The fire occurred in the dome which was being restored. It took over a year to rebuild it to its original design.

Bonus info

Did you know that Limoges train station has a song dedicated to it? “Limoges Opéra Rock”, the musical fresco, devotes a song to the station: “Limoges Bénédictins”.
Listen in, track 19

Tours of the station are organized by Limoges Tourist Office:
www.limoges-tourisme.com/
12 boulevard de Fleurus - 87000 Limoges
Telf. +33(0)5 55 34 46 87
info@limoges-tourisme.com

PRACTICAL INFO 

Office de Tourisme de Limoges, 12 boulevard de Fleurus, 87000 Limoges
+33(0)5 55 34 46 87

Limoges-Bénédictins train station  

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PRACTICAL INFO 

Office de Tourisme de Limoges, 12 boulevard de Fleurus, 87000 Limoges
+33(0)5 55 34 46 87

RELATED
ARTICLES 

Porcelain? We know all about it! It’s what makes Limoges live and breathe, and it gets around! An ancient tradition...

Discover this surprising city and its passion for fire arts expressed creatively through porcelain and enamel.

“Villes et Pays d’Art et d’Histoire” (Towns and Lands of Art and History), the name of this label is a pledge to...

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B & B Limoges Gare

Our hotel is located near Limoges city centre, train station, and the A20 motorway. Whether you're staying with us for business or for pleasure, the B&B Hotel Limoges Gare has everything you need.
Enjoy our comfortable air conditioned rooms. Our special Bultex bedding guarantees guests a good night’s sleep!

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- Comité Régional du Tourisme de Nouvelle-Aquitaine -
- Comité Régional du Tourisme de Nouvelle-Aquitaine -
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- Comité Régional du Tourisme de Nouvelle-Aquitaine -
- Comité Régional du Tourisme de Nouvelle-Aquitaine -