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Brive is a fairly small community in the central portion of France and holds the official name of Brive-la-Gaillarde today, though most just call it by its original name still today. The term of strength and bravery was added after the end of the first world war and is often a reference to the city’s walls that were built around the city in the 12th century. During the 100 Years War, a second wall was built for added fortification, but the walls no longer exist. Brive is noted in French history as the first city to liberate itself from occupation in 1944 and its medieval city center is a wonderful district for shops and cafes to enjoy. What else could your journey to Brive entail for you?
One of the Best Distilleries in France Is Located Here
Any trip to Brive must absolutely include a visit to Maison Denoix. It is a traditional distillery that has been operating since 1839 and it produces a wonderful walnut liquer in addition to the firewater for which it is famous. You’ll also find a wide variety of other drinks available, such as quince or chocolate liqueur and even curacao. Take some time to wander about the old cauldrons that are made from copper and make sure to sample as many wares as you’re allowed! Maybe stay away from the purple mustard liqueur though…
In the heart of Brive stands the Collegiale St-Martin, which dates back to the 11th century and features a number of Romanesque views. It hasn’t survived the trials of time well thanks to the many battles it has seen, but there are a few of the original columns that remain intact. They depict a number of Biblical scenes and beasts from lore, making an interesting side stop during your holiday here.
A final stop in Brive is often at the Labenche Museum, which explores local history and archaeological within its exhibits. A highlight of this museum are the numerous 17th century tapestries, but there are also accordions from the 19th century on display as well. If you’re a fan of Debussy, you’ll be able to see one of the pianos that he owned too.
Brive Is Renowned For Its Markets
One of the primary reasons to come to Brive is to enjoy the food market that is situated on the main town square. It runs every Thursday morning and people come from far and wide to enjoy the many wares that are on display. Take time to look for a number of goose products if you want an animal protein, but the plum brandy is always a good secondary option [or a first option if you prefer]. Wash the brandy down with the chestnut and walnut cake and your favorite Limousin snacks.
Finish off your holiday in Brive with a simple walking tour around the heart of downtown. You’ll find a number of exciting opportunities to explore, along with some hidden gems that will provide you with delicate pastries, wonderful baked goods, or a hot cup of coffee that will give you the energy to continue exploring.
Brive may have its roots in history, but it is very much alive and well in our modern world. Enjoy everything this community has on your next holiday and you won’t be disappointed!
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Hôtel de Région
14, Rue François de Sourdis
33 077 Bordeaux cedex
T: +33 05 57 57 80 00
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