Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Vassiviere - the lake, island and contemporary art


Andy Goldsworthy sculpture International Art Centre
the lighthouse staircase International Art Centre


the view from the top of the lighthouse International Art Centre
International Art Centre
Bonjour and bienvenue.  We moved to the Limousin region of France just a few months ago, but had been regular Summer visitors for some years in our trusty camper van. One of the main reasons for our permanent move from the UK was the expanse of natural, unspoilt countryside and protected national park. We live in the Millevaches regional natural park – an area that combines lush green pine forests and rushing rivers; and at its heart - the Lac deVassiviere.

The Lac de Vassiviere is one of France's largest man-made lakes with a shoreline of 45km. It was built after WW2 and has been developed to provide both an area of natural beauty, tourism and also a source of hydro-electricity for the region.  Every Summer there is also a big international festival (Destination Ailleurs) of performing and contemporary arts and nature, guided walks and a variety of cultural and educational events.  

Around the perimeter are several supervised swimming beaches and during the Summer months you can enjoy a variety of water sports and activities in and around the lac. There are also a range of bars and restaurants to enjoy if you are feeling less active!

One of our favourite places to visit is the International Art Centre on the Ile de Vassiviere. The contemporary art gallery and sculpture wood are open all year and we are so lucky to be able to visit whenever we like. You can walk around the wood for miles, away from the sound of any hustle and bustle – with just the sound of birds twittering and the occasional braying donkey! The fresh air fills your lungs and invigorates your soul and I have lost many a happy hour walking with our new addition Eric le chien.
Thomas Houseago 2011 International Art Centre

International Art Centre
Thomas Houseago 2011 exhibition at the International Art Centre
After a long walk around the Lac I can highly recommend stopping to watch the sunset and beautiful light across the water; a nice chilled glass of wine and maybe some bread and cheese – well it would be rude not to, we are in France after all...

sunset on Lac de Vassiviere



So cheers, or santé as they say en France and I do hope you get the chance to visit this beautiful area soon. I look forward to letting you know more about our discoveries and top places to visit in the Limousin soon.

Thank you for stopping by and I look forward to your comments.

A bientot :-)

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