Blog post


June 30, 2016

To begin with, Collonge La Rouge is The Red City of Limousin!  Once I arrived in Limoges was  reality.  And as well to catch up with the beauty of Limousin. 

However, the Village of “Collonge-la Rouge” was first on my holiday list.  And my friend was surprised that I wanted to visit that venue.  At first he thought Collonge La Rouge was still a normal village he knew in his youth. 

In addition he did not know that the village had changed and was actually a well known venue for holiday makers.  Next morning at the coffee table, I learned we are going to Collonge La Rouge.  As a result I was overjoyed and excited all the same.

005 IMG_0254.JPGFirst  coup d’œil of the village

Before long the village of Collonges-la-Rouge unveil itself as we walk up the path from the parking lot.  As a matter of fact we approached the unknown.

Unlike the other side of the road was also very attractive with a hillside of green trees over-looking the Red Brick village.                              

Another point worth noting – pop in at the tourist office and collect a map of the village.  The next thing guide yourself round the illustrious village with a famous history.


According to research Collonge La Rouge is a village that everyone visits.  Actually one never leaves Limousin until they tour the village before their very own eyes.

Furthermore I was interested in making pictures of this village.  Therefore I was more keen to share this part of the world to the rest of the world.  And I made it there and shared a part of my holiday to streams of humanity.10323252-collonges-la-rouge-curiosite-en-correze.jpgA Brief History of Collonge-La Rouge

In addition Collonges-la-Rouge is a commune in the Corrèze department.  And Correze is in the arrondissement of Brive-la Gaillarde.  Another point worth noting, Limousin is the motherland of such beauty.  With respect I learned that it is the greenest farming province of France.


As proof the red sandstone is unique to the region.  And its evolution is connected to the existence of a geological Fault of Meyssac.  As per history two basins were formed on each side of the fault.  Not only did they evolve independently from each other, but also at different spells of time.

To note the red sandstone of the northern basin was formed some 300 million years ago.  However its sandstone was rocks made from sand grains.  To sume up torrential rain flowed down the mountains brought the sand to the basin.  Therefore the rocks were broken into pebbles then sand grains.

Identically the red sandstone was formed due to the hot and dry climate.

DONE IMG_0275.JPGResearch has found that the village is dated from the 8th century.  And that time monks from Charroux (now in Poitou-Charentes) founded a priory there.  As a result Collonges was developed around the churches and priories in the 13th century. 

Not only that, but there were settlers in the village. Equally they were granted freedom from taxes by the Viscounts of Turenne.  Within the countless centuries there lived aristocrats and business tycoons, merchants and traders in the red city. 

As a result they built their chateaus and houses in the vicinity of the village.

008 IMG_0258.JPGUniquely the Collonge had a vineyard that it became financially a success. According to history, the business of the vineyard supported the village financially. 

Latterly in the climax of the 19th century a pest of vines called phylloxera contagiously destroyed the vines. And together the whole of France vine farms suffered from the same pests. 

Finally Collonge-La-Rouge prevailed on expanding a parochial trade hinged on tourism.

DONE 012 IMG_0302.JPGNevertheless Collonges-la-Rouge is also known as La Cité aux vingt-cinq tours (the city with 25 turrets) because of its many mansions.

And the medieval town was indeed part of an influential viscounty.  Therefore Countless turreted mansions were then built in order to accommodate the officers who served the viscounty.

Despite the fact Collonges-la-Rouge thrived until June 8, 1738. And that was when the last viscount of Turenne sold the viscounty to Louis XV to pay for his debts.009 IMG_0264.JPG

011 IMG_0308.JPG

Wisterias IMG_0332.JPG

 wisterias IMG_0334.JPG

002 IMG_0245.JPGLikewise France has many beautiful country villages and Collonge-La-Rouge is one of them.   To illustrate it is a beautiful village.   What’s more is the popularity of visitors it embraces in the Summer season.

006 IMG_0255.JPGFurthermore the village took its name from the Latin word of colony.   And the deep red local sandstone which was used for erecting the buildings.  Besides the wealthy opulence of Wisterias,  also the vines takes toll on all the red brick homes. 

Finally these historical monuments will keep vivid images in the memories of our visit for a very long time.

Restaurants IMG_0296.JPG

While we strolled through “les petites rues,” we came to “Halle aux Grains.” As well as the “Communal ovens,” which is dated before the French Revolution.  And that was where the villagers gathered to bake bread.  However the “Hall aux Grains” was also used as the Village market.  At the same time bread oven was lit up only once on the first Sunday of August.

the break oven and market IMG_0313.JPG

the bread oven and market IMG_0312.JPG


Furthermore Collonges la Rouge is a stunning place to traverse.  Hence each small petite rue takes you from one red brick house to another.  Then you may find yourself at a pretty patch of a garden.

Also the ancient centre is pedestrianised which constitute in the security of touring the village.

small rue open space IMG_0289.JPG

small rue to shops and restaurants IMG_0266.JPG

MAISON LA SIRENE – “House of The Mermaid”

In fact at the bottom of the main street is la Maison de la Sirène (House of the Mermaid).  And House of the Mermaid was possessed by Henry de Jouvenel.  Somehow Maison  de la Sirene is a 16th century house that has a carving of a mermaid on the side of the door! 

However on 3rd July 1983 the village released a “3 French Franc” postage stamp which depicted “la Maison de la Sirene.” 

As a result The Gothic Maison de la Sirene was named after the sculpture of a mermaid.  It has a fascinating truncated tower.  It currently houses a museum of Arts and Popular Traditions.

La maison de la sirène du XVIème siècle. Rien ne manque colombages, encorbellements, fenêtre à meneauxIMG_0259 Maison de la sirene and the main square of collonge la rouge.JPG

 Eglise de St Pierre – (St Peter’s Church)

As a small village, Collonges-la-Rouge doesn’t take long to scout.  And the 12th century roman style Church of “Saint Pierre” (Saint Peter) is the dominant building of curiosity in the village.  Besides it is a fascinating structure with white limestone on the top of the entrance.  As evidence the tympanum made of Turenne white limestone with the red sandstone was used in the rest of the building.  

DONE St Pierre IMG_0314.JPGAdditionally the art of the sculpting represents Christ with two angels and the twelve apostles.  Importantly the representing ascension of Christ was hidden during the wars of religion and was restored in 1923.

DONE St Pierre - tympanum IMG_0317.JPG


A priory was built in the 16th century.  And it has been a historical monument since July 4, 1951 for its facade with balcony and its roof.  

During the 20th Century many French villages were left abandoned to rought from their former glory.  With time these villages lost 70 percent of its residents.

Likewise homes and buildings collapsed.  Finally Ceyrac stepped in to re-unite the crumbled villages in an alliance that reconditioned and protected them and at the same time revived their local wealth into a tourism aspect.

And actually these fortresses survives before the eyes of those who loves and adores them.

the priory IMG_0265.JPG

the church and the priory IMG_0262.JPG


Likewise Le Chemin de St Jacques de Compostelle – St James Trail is a pilgrimage that takes place once a year in France.  For this reason thousands of pilgrims arrived from different parts of the world to walk the pilgrimage of St James of Compostella. 

small rue IMG_0336.JPGAltogether narrow alleyways are blanketed between these ancient assemblies.  And the red stone adorned with greenery and truss of grapes.  During the spring season the red bricks won’t miss the twisted curls of wisterias.  However built on a gentle bank in the kernel of walnut groves, this village conjures the typical image of the french rustic countryside.  Currently this red city has been touched by billions of travelers around the world.small rue IMG_0330.JPG

According to history, during the Middle Ages Limousin was a land of saints. And for this reason they saw a rise in the number of pilgrimages in the region.  Therefore the veneration of relics housed in abbeys and priories built by monks.  However the area was strongly influenced in the 12C, by the Way of St James to Santiago de Compostela. 

Furthermore St Jacques de Compostelle is also a hotel at the Collonge la Rouge. And this is where pilgrims stopped for their night.  Also they get the chance to also visit that beautiful Red village of Limousin.  Besides the hotel is located in  seventh century former family home.

Also this hotel proudly stands in the middle of town.  And the rates for the 10 lovely rooms start from 70 euros per night.  On top of that the restaurant serves delicious local specialties such as the French foie gras with a red onion chutney, lamb, magret de canard, and the well known filet mignon.

DONE The Hotel of St Jacques de Compostelle IMG_0293.JPGTo sum up the hotel features a beautiful setting of the village that can be enjoyed from the terrace.   For this reason it offers beautiful bright rooms with discreet and elegant decoration in ecru beige muted tones.  And some have a view of the Towers of Friac and the Church.  However the other rooms behold the Corrèze countryside.DONE The Hotel of St Jacques de Compostelle IMG_0294.JPGThe Tour of Friac (Tour de Friac) 

As a result you should try the local gastronomic specialties before leaving Collonges-la-Rouge.

All things considered you’ll discover delicious foie gras (goose paté) and walnuts, but also the local  or vin paillé!

Tower of Friac - collonge la rouge IMG_0279.JPG

restaurants IMG_0298.JPGOn the whole thank you for visiting Collonge-La-Rouge with me through my blog.


  • J

    French Shabby Chic Cabane

    July 28, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    Thank you Henry de Graaf! I may know a bit of the French History, but politically there could have been, but not that I have studied deeper into their political history. Juli

  • Avatar

    Henry de Graaf

    July 28, 2016 at 1:16 am

    PS: Did the Communist Party get started here?

  • Avatar

    Henry de Graaf

    July 28, 2016 at 1:15 am

    Such a relaxed a quiet village, with all the building made of red sandstone, it looks like.
    Why can’t cities look like this? Why are so many people packed like bees in a hive?

    The foods grown there must be very full of vitamins.

    1. J


      July 28, 2016 at 8:11 pm

      Thank you Henry de Graaf! Collonge-la-rouge is one of the most beautiful village in France. Sure, France is a country for good food. Thank you. Juli

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