Mortemart is a small town of Haute-Vienne, in region New-Aquitaine, about fifteen kilometers from Bellac and 40 kilometers north-west of Limoges.
Ancient Gallo-Roman site, the village developed around its castle built in the 10th century then its convents.
Presenting a remarkable architectural unit, Mortemart is a village now protected and member of the association "Most Beautiful Villages of France".
However, despite its tourist attraction, the population of the locality is now only about 120 inhabitants, three times less than the Revolution.
In addition to its built heritage, Mortemart offers the visitor a dive in a green environment suitable for hiking.
It is quite possible to discover on foot and only the most remarkable monuments and buildings of the village (but guided tours are possible throughout the year, ask for information on +33 5 55 68 12 79).
The route begins with the castle of the Dukes, in reference to the lords of Mortemart, the same family having owned since the distant ancestor Abon Drut began construction in 995! The castle lost part of its main building and the second floor of its towers on order of Richelieu, at a time when the central power did not support any local ambition...
Once chapel of the Augustinian convent, the church of Saint-Hilaire dates from the fourteenth century. Outside, its steeple called "triple bulb" is remarkable. Inside, you will observe its beautiful carved stalls, in oak, and an altarpiece in the choir, as well as paintings on wood.
A must see, in the village still, a magnificent hall of the eighteenth, with a four-sided timber frame, testifies to the commercial vitality of yesteryear. However, it should be pointed out that the hall with some signs of fragility was completely dismantled and then rebuilt identically in 2013.
The local lords have favored the rise of different congregations, two convents are still visible (a chartreuse on the other hand has disappeared). On the one hand there is the Convent of the Carmelites, built in the 14th century, which welcomed the poor and allowed the pilgrims to make a stop there. The building was rather spared by the weather and you can admire two monumental granite and wooden staircases in the central wing. As for the Augustinian convent, which also dates from the 14th century, its façade was rebuilt in the 17th century and the building that formed the college is now occupied by the town hall of the village.
The visit of Mortemart finally allows to admire some dwellings that belonged to notables: the house of Chevalier Béon, the Sénéchaussée and the house of Verdilhac-Villelonge.
But Mortemart also offers many possible activities: so, for example to discover the village and its surroundings (many marked trails), one can choose the charm of the carriages, or rent bicycles or even donkeys! For more information, please call +33 6 85 09 32 75.
For the sportsmen, in the immediate vicinity of the heart of the village, a 9 hole golf course is open every day from 9am to 7pm. Information on +33 5 55 60 45 16.
Finally, for hikers (walking or mountain biking) who want to discover more than the village and its immediate surroundings, three trails of 4.6 and 7 km have been developed and marked. Information at +33 5 55 68 12 79.
Besides artistic exhibitions that mark cultural life throughout the year, the village offers regular appointments.
The second Sunday of February, a Hike of Candlemas is proposed to the sportsmen.
The first weekend of April, a natural wine fair attracts a large audience.
On the third Sunday of April, the celebration of plants celebrates the arrival of spring.
The last weekend of August, the festival ZicAnouic offers concerts of rock or traditional music in different villages of Haut Limousin, including Mortemart.
In August, the Haut Limousin festival is still staging at Mortemart for a classical music concert in the village church.
The second Sunday in November, finally, an apple festival celebrates the autumn...
For gourmets and gourmands wanting to discover the richness of the local terroir, in July and August, a country market is organized under the market on Sunday from 9 am to 1 pm.