Brive-la-Gaillarde

Travel Guide Europe France Limousin Brive-la-Gaillarde

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Introduction

Brive-la-Gaillarde is the largest town in the department of Corrèze in Limousin, France. Even though the inhabitants settled around the 1st century, the city only started to grow much later. From around the 5th century onwards, the original city began to develop around a church dedicated to Saint-Martin-l'Espagnol. During the 12th century walls were built around the city and during the Hundred Years' War a second wall was built. These fortifications no longer exist and have been replaced by boulevards.

The commune was named "Brive" until 1919, when it was renamed "Brive-la-Gaillarde". The word "Gaillarde" (still used in current French) probably stands for bravery or strength in the city's name, but it can also refer to the city's walls. Brive now extends outside of its original boundaries into Malemort and Ussac.

During World War II, Brive-la-Gaillarde was a regional capital of the Resistance, acting as a seat of several clandestine information networks and several of the principal resistance movements, including the Armée secrète (or “Secret Army”) and the Mouvements Unis de la Résistance (or "United Movements of the Resistance").

Brive-la-Gaillarde was the first city of Occupied France to liberate itself by its own means, on 15 August 1944. For this, the city received the “Croix de guerre 1939–1945” military decoration.

The medieval centre is mainly a commercial district with retail shops and various cafés. It is also the location of the city hall, the main police station, and the Labenche museum. One notable landmark outside the inner city is the Pont Cardinal, a bridge which used to be a crossing point for travelers from Paris to Toulouse.

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Sights and Activities

Musee Labenche is Brive's museum of history and art. It is in the town centre.

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Getting There

By Plane

Brive Vallée de la Dordogne (BVE) (Brive Souillac) airport opened in June 2010. CityJet flies to Brive from Dublin, Dundee, Edinburgh and London City. Jet2 flies to Manchester in the UK. Air France flies to London City. Airlinair flies to Paris Orly and Ajaccio, the capital of Corsica.

By Train

Brive-la-Gaillarde railway station offers connections to Limoges, Périgueux, Bordeaux, Clermont-Ferrand, Toulouse, and several regional destinations.

By Car

The A20 motorway connects Brive with Limoges and Toulouse, the A89 with Bordeaux.

By Bus

There are Flixbus connections from Toulouse, Lyon, Bordeaux and Paris. Buses leave you a little bit far from the centre.

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Keep Connected

Internet

France is one of the best connected countries in the world, with data speed for upload/download ranked among the top 5 in the world. Most hotels and hostels would have in-house facilities to provide free internet access. Many major cities also have initiatives put in place to provide free wi-fi connection in public spaces. Alternatively there are internet cafés available in most cities/towns at a reasonable rate. Some private businesses, such as local cafés (or even the Starbuck's chain), may also provide wi-fi connectivity - keep an eye out for the signs by the shop windows/doors. Also look for the @ symbol prominently displayed, which indicates internet availability. However, with most homes now wired for the internet, cyber cafés are increasingly hard to find, especially outside the major cities.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

To dial an international number from France, the IDD is 00, followed by the country code that you wish to dial, the area code and the phone number.
To call France from abroad, start with the international direct dialing (IDD) code from the country you're in, followed by French country code 33, the area code (drop the first zero in front of the area code), and the phone number. French telephone numbers are rarely given without the area code. The telephone number, including the area code, is made up of 10 digits. They are written in a set of 5 pairs of digits (i.e. 01 xx xx xx xx xx).
In France, the area code designations are: 01 - Paris Area ("Région Ile-de-France"), 02 - northwest, 03 - northeast, 04 - southeast, 05 - southwest, 06 - mobile phone providers. From 2010 onwards, 07 will also be assigned to mobile phone providers in order to cater for the surging demands for mobile phones.

Emergency numbers are 15 (medical aid), 17 (police station) and 18 (fire/rescue). You can also use the European emergency number 112 (perhaps a better choice if you don't speak French). These calls are free and accessible from virtually any phone, including locked cellphones.

France uses the GSM standard of cellular phones (900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands) used in most of the world outside of the U.S. There are several companies (Orange, SFR, Free, Bouygues Télécom and some others MVNOs like Virgin Mobile) offering wireless service. The country is almost totally covered but you may have difficulties using your mobile phone in rural or mountainous areas. If you stay for some time, it may be advisable to buy a pre-paid cell phone card that you can use in any phone that supports the GSM standard on the 900/1800 MHz bands. Then incoming calls and SMSes are free.

Post

La Poste in France is also referred to as the PTT (short for postes, télégraphes et téléphones). The mailboxes are painted bright yellow and often there is a slot for local city mail and another slot for "outside mail". Normally there is a queue in the post office, but most of the post offices have the self service machine installed which is quite easy to operate. Nowadays many of the tabac and even some of the souvenir shops also sell postage stamps. Normally an overseas postcard costs almost as much as sending a letter. Mails sent in France also have a zip code. The first two numbers represent the administrative department (e.g. in Paris' case that would be 75).

Post offices are generally open from 8:00am to 7:00pm Monday through Friday, and 8:00am to noon on Saturdays. Apart from the basic job of mailing letters, most of the post offices do some banking activities also and some even have photocopy machines and cyber cafes for internet access.

For international package services, you might also check options with companies like DHL, UPS or TNT, which have competitive services and prices and might be faster in most cases.

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This is version 1. Last edited at 8:43 on Aug 9, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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