La Souterraine, a medieval town in the spotlight

A stopover on the route to Santiago de Compostela, on the border between Berry and Limousin, the medieval town of La Souterraine is steeped in history and boasts a rich heritage, with its granite church, fortifications and old houses.

Founded on the site of a vast Gallo-Roman villa, La Souterraine developed in the Middle Ages when a fortified wall protecting the center and its church were built by the monks of the Saint-Martial Abbey in Limoges.

Under the Ancien Régime, La Souterraine passed from the Duchy of Aquitaine to the Generalitat of Limoges.


A heritage well worth the detour...

La Souterraine has a rich heritage well worth a visit. The wash-houses and fountains, for example, the baths and showers, the door lintels, the modillions, the mosaics, the painted advertisements... But also monumental roadside crosses, seigneury markers, roadside nails, including the Géraphie nail...

In La Souterraine, visit the church of Notre-Dame, a blend of Romanesque and Gothic styles.

Its crypt, a former Gallo-Roman necropolis, can be visited in July and August.

Close to the church stands the monumental 13th-century Porte Saint-Jean, a vestige of the old ramparts. Another gate, that of Puycharraud, has been listed with the remains of the rampart as a Monument Historique since June 17, 1941.

Among La Souterraine's treasures is the Lanterne des Morts (Lantern of the Dead).

Not far from the town center, just a few kilometers away, is the imposing Tour de Bridiers, the keep of an ancient fortress, and its medieval gardens.

Long forgotten, the medieval site of Bridiers features not only an imposing keep, but also the remains of the castle's curtain walls and dwellings. On site, climb the spiral staircase that leads up to the keep rooms to reach the terrace, offering a panoramic view well worth the detour. As part of the setting for the gigantic son et lumière historical fresco that takes place every summer, the area around the château is also worth a visit, with its medieval garden, adjoining woods and the very "cute" herd of Rove goats that look after the site.

This medieval fresco combining sound, light and pyrotechnics is performed by over 300 actors in costume.

Last but not least, visit the Micro-Folies, inspired by the Folies du Parc de La Villette designed by architect Bernard Tschumi. Micro-Folies are venues dedicated to art and artistic and cultural education.

Developed in several French towns, including La Souterraine, they aim to bring art to local areas and develop artistic and cultural education. A selection of the world's greatest works of art can be viewed free of charge via the digital museum, a tool with which you can interact live. In the spectacular setting of the neo-Gothic chapel of Le Sauveur, the Sostran Micro-Folie is much more than a digital museum: it's also a space for exhibitions, concerts, creation, virtual reality, experimentation, conferences, meetings and social interaction...


Town Hall

1, rue de l'Hermitage

23300 La Souterraine

Tel.: 05 55 63 97 80




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