Limoges (lēmôzhˈ) [key], city (1990 pop. 136,407), capital of Haute-Vienne dept., W central France, on the Vienne River. It is famous for its ceramics industry, which uses the abundant kaolin in the area; the city's porcelain workshops employ more than 10,000 people. The shoe industry is also large. Uranium is mined, and automobiles and electrical equipment are manufactured. An ancient town, Limoges became (12th cent.) the seat of the viscounty of Limoges and (1589) the capital of Limousin prov. It was often visited by war, pestilence, and famine. Richard Coeur de Lion (Richard I of England) was killed in battle near Limoges (1199). In 1370, Edward the Black Prince burned the city and massacred its inhabitants. The famous Limoges enamel industry was fully developed by the 13th cent. and culminated in the work of Léonard Limousin, but it declined when Limoges was once more devastated in the Wars of Religion. Turgot, who was intendant from 1761 to 1764, brought back prosperity by introducing (1771) the china manufactures. Limoges has a cathedral (chiefly 13th–16th cent.), a notable ceramics museum, and an art gallery containing many works by Renoir, who was born there. Limoges Univ. is there.
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