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Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Haute-Vienne

Commune de Haute-Vienne, in region New-Aquitaine, Bessines-sur-Gartempe is located in the arrondissement of Bellac, about thirty kilometers from Limoges. It is also one of the most extensive cities in the whole department.

Originally called La Besse, Bessines-sur-Gartempe takes its name from the Latin Bettia and the Gallic Beta, which designate a place rich in birch. In the 6th century, during the Clovis period, the commune took its place on the frontier between the kingdom of the Franks and that of the Visigoths until about the 10th century. Known for its mining activity in the second half of the twentieth century, the municipality is today more oriented towards tourism.

In Bessines-sur-Gartempe there are a number of important tourist sites to discover during a stay in this region rich in cultural heritage.

Geographical information

Tourism labels
Latitude46.1092230 (N 46° 6’ 33”)
Longitude1.3689119 (E 1° 22’ 8”)
AltitudeFrom 250m to 533m
Surface area55.41 km²
Population2877 inhabitants
Density51 inhabitants/km²
PrefectureLimoges (22 mi, 24 min)
Insee code87014
IntercommunalityCC Élan Limousin Avenir Nature

Nearest cities & towns

Bersac-sur-Rivalier3.8 mi (9 min)
Fromental5 mi (11 min)
Saint-Amand-Magnazeix5.7 mi (12 min)
Folles6.3 mi (17 min)
Châteauponsac6.6 mi (11 min)
Laurière6.8 mi (15 min)
Saint-Sulpice-Laurière7.1 mi (18 min)
Razès8 mi (13 min)
Saint-Léger-la-Montagne9.4 mi (19 min)
Saint-Sylvestre9.7 mi (18 min)
Saint-Maurice-la-Souterraine9.8 mi (12 min)
Fursac10.2 mi (18 min)
Le Buis11.2 mi (28 min)
Saint-Sornin-Leulac11.6 mi (14 min)
Villefavard11.7 mi (21 min)

Things to see and do

A circuit of heritage, pedestrian and marked out, allows to discover the most beautiful sites of this commune of Haute-Vienne. Explanatory panels offer a detailed and very interesting description. Lovers will also be able to borrow the circuit of postcards and discover sixteen views of Bessines-sur-Gartempe through old postcards.

Inscribed in the Historic Monuments for its facade and its roofs, the church Saint-Léger dates from the XIIIe and XVe centuries. Inside, one can admire the chapel of the Lord of Monism, while outside, on the north wall, an engraved limestone stone reveals the symbol of the blessing hand.

The Pont des Bonshommes was built in the 13th century. Equipped with three arches and about ten meters long, it is used to cross the Gartempe. Partially destroyed in 1944, it was rebuilt shortly thereafter and was listed in Historic Monuments in the early 1990s.

It is possible to admire the ruins of the Monism Castle dating from the 13th and 15th centuries. Also listed in the Historical Monuments, they present the remains of the old castle of the municipality.

Interactive mine museum, the UREKA allows to discover the history of uranium in the region. On the program of the places, a park of machines, 3D projections, or even an interactive exploration of the interior of the earth.

Built in the 18th century, the cross of Morterolles was inscribed in the Historic Monuments.

The pond of Sagnat extends over more than twenty hectares and offers a pleasant place of relaxation to the inhabitants and the visitors of passage to Bessines-sur-Gartempe. There is a fishing area, playgrounds and picnic areas, as well as an arboricultural interpretation trail. It is also possible to swim from early July to mid-August. A sports circuit and a boules pitch complete the whole.

Places of interest

Information points
Natural sites

Events and festivities

The market is held on Friday and Sunday morning. On the 11th of each month, in the morning, the city also offers its monthly fair.

The Suzanne Valadon Days, in honor of the painter from the city, are held on the first weekend of April, every two years.

In mid-July, Bandafolie's is a lively festival featuring a petanque contest, concerts, fireworks, flea markets and shopping.

In June, the Graine de Rue festival highlights various street arts shows.

A funfair takes place in October.

Exhibition 'Utrillo, Valadon, Utter: a family of painters'
Commented Visit of the Exhibition "Like a Tree"


Sunday 23 july
Min. 24°C - Max. 38°C
Monday 24 july
Min. 20°C - Max. 37°C
Tuesday 25 july
Min. 23°C - Max. 38°C

Visits, leisure and activities nearby

Lake Saint-Pardoux (fishing, swimming, boating, horseback riding, hiking).

Leisure activities

Last nameActivity typeRateCity
Discover the art of lace with shuttles
Arts and Crafts45 € Saint-Sulpice-les-Feuilles (13.9 mi)


Last nameOuting typeDifficultyDurationDeparture municipality
Trip around Lake Saint-Pardoux
HikeEasy6h00Razès (5.5 mi)
The Three Spires
HikeEasy4h00Saint-Léger-la-Montagne (6 mi)
In the footsteps of Henry IV
HikeIntermediate4h15Montrol-Sénard (20 mi)
Detours and Impressionist Landscapes - Creuse
Car itineraryEasy45 minSaint-Sébastien (21 mi)
Verger Gorges
HikeEasy1h30Bourganeuf (21 mi)


Bed & breakfasts

Vacation rentals



Your holidays
A hotel
A vacation rental
A bed & breakfast
A campsite
A leisure activity
A restaurant
A rental car
A plane ticket
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