View of the Brive lighthouse with a great blue sky behind

We explain to you why this "lighthouse" is one of our top 14 sites to visit.

Why a lighthouse in Brive?

The secret is out, this lighthouse has never guided boats because this building was actually, a water tower... But we are going to reveal another mystery to you: the architect and the project manager behind its construction were passionate about History and Prehistory. However, in the Jurassic, the sea partly covered the region (Turenne was under water...), so our two Gaillard people wanted to evoke this era and the proximity to the ocean, by giving this strange covering to the water tower that they were asked to build.

The old water tower of Brive-la-Gaillarde

It was built in 1834 to independently contain the prime movers, the main basin and accommodation for the conservation and supervisory officer. 

Subsequently, the scale for the livestock market was integrated into this building. An elevating machine made it possible to pump the waters of the Doux, storing them at the top of the building in a tank, after passing through a sand filter and then being released. The building consists of a tower forming a belvedere, and rises at the end of the promenade which ran along the canal, today covered by the Quai de Tourny. The first floor served as a platform for notables during agricultural and cultural events. The bell, on the east side, opened and closed the wholesale market.

This place of important markets and trade was noted in 1834 thanks to the construction of the water tower. The architect Mr. Limousin, helped by Mr. Corrèze (we are not making this up!) and Mr. Sauvage, wanted this building to be both useful and symbolic. Mr. Limousin had built it to last, and even if this water tower was only used for 30 years to receive water, it is still there, according to the dream of its creator.

View of the Brive lighthouse photographed from its height

The lighthouse today

Today, it is an essential place to visit! The building is preceded by a Mediterranean-style public garden (with olive trees and lavender), preceded by the 18th century portal symbolizing the “Laughing portal of the South” sung by Jasmin, poet of Agen in the 19th century.

The building was listed as a Historic Monument by a decree of December 28, 1984. It houses the Tourist Office of Brive and its surrounding area.

The lighthouse, massive building…

The Brive lighthouse measures 22.50m high from ground to roof! It is 14.60m long in circumference and 98 steps provide access to the top!

Visit the Brive lighthouse 

It is possible to visit the Brive Lighthouse *, free of charge, during the opening hours from the Tourist Office! And if you come on a Saturday, you will enjoy the famous Brive market sung by the French artist Georges Brassens.

*The Lighthouse is accessible to children and minors, if accompanied by an adult.

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