Registered in the inventory of historical monuments since 1979, the Limoges Benedictine station is certainly the most famous building in the city and is among the most beautiful stations in the world according to certain rankings.
The current station is the third to be built since the arrival of the railway.
The work of the architect Roger Gonthier, who also designed the Cité des Coutures, the Cité-jardin de Beaublanc and the Pavillon du Verdurier, it was inaugurated in 1929, on the site of the former 19th century station, itself built on a former Benedictine monastery.
With its superb dome and its 67-metre high campanile, making it the highest building in Limoges, it is recognizable among all.
The campanile is surmounted by a raised copper dome bearing a five-metre high vase with a lightning rod.
A surprising clock...
The clock has four dials four metres in diameter, connected to each other so as to indicate the same time.
It is graduated in Roman numerals, except for 4, represented by IIII and not IV, in order to preserve the aesthetic harmony of the clock between the numbers 4 and 8, VIII.
In the past, clocks voluntarily displayed two minutes in advance, in order to press the travellers.
A station rich in decorations...
The station offers the particularity of being built above the tracks.
Inside, stained-glass windows and canopies illuminate the mural representations of the provinces originally served by the Paris-Orléans company: Limousin, Brittany, Gascony and Touraine. Each of these four sculptures bears emblems of its province. Brittany is accompanied by shells, fish and seaweed. Gascony supports a garland of bunches of grapes. Limousin carries a porcelain vase and refers to a profusion of ears of wheat, chestnuts and chestnut leaves. Finally, Touraine picks a rose, surrounded by flowers. Brittany is the only one of the Caryatids to appear veiled, apparently alluding to the region's modest tradition, and Gascony is the only one to be depicted from the back.
The Gare de Limoges Bénédictins celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2019.
Limoges Benedictine Station
4, Place Maison Dieu,
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator
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