Ussel (French pronunciation: [ysɛl] ; Occitan: Ussèl) is a commune in the Corrèze department in central France. Its inhabitants are called Ussellois.

Château of La Borde
Château of La Borde
Coat of arms of Ussel
Location of Ussel
Ussel is located in France
Ussel is located in Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Coordinates: 45°32′56″N 2°18′36″E / 45.5489°N 2.31°E / 45.5489; 2.31
IntercommunalityHaute-Corrèze Communauté
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Christophe Arfeuillère[1]
50.37 km2 (19.45 sq mi)
 • Density180/km2 (470/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
19275 /19200
Elevation588–781 m (1,929–2,562 ft)
(avg. 630 m or 2,070 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Location edit

The community of Ussel is located in the Massif central on the foothills of the plateau de Millevaches. The city itself sits on a hilltop in between the valley of the river Diège and the valley of the river Sarsonne. It is situated at an altitude of 2070 ft (631 m), in the Massif Central on the last buttress of the Plateau de Millevaches. Ussel is crossed by the Green Meridian.

Hydrography edit

Three main watercourses are flowing through the community, the river Diège (the town is sometimes also called Ussel-sur-Diège), the river Sarsonne and the stream of Étang Roux.

Demography edit

In 2017, the population of Ussel was 9,736 inhabitants.

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1968 8,464—    
1975 10,664+3.36%
1982 11,765+1.41%
1990 11,448−0.34%
1999 10,753−0.69%
2007 10,328−0.50%
2012 9,791−1.06%
2017 9,736−0.11%
Source: INSEE[3]

Historical heritage edit

Places and monuments edit

  • The Borde Castle, 15th century, reshuffled during the 17th century
  • The Mothe Castle, 16th century, historical monument since 1980
  • The Ventadour Hotel, historical monument since 1932
  • The Church Saint-Martin, 13th century, classified historical monument since 1926
  • The Roman Eagle situated in the Voltaire Square. This monument is sculpted in the granite, and discovered in The Peuch Mill, on the Sarsonne. It was cleaned and shifted en 2009 during the refurbishment of the Voltaire Square.
  • The Chapel of Notre-Dame de la Chabane
  • The Church Saint Martial
  • The Church Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption, in La Tourette
  • The Church Saint-Dizier in Saint-Dézéry

Parks and green areas edit

Ussel is well known thanks to its many green and natural areas. It offers the city a countrified atmosphere very appreciated by its inhabitants. Besides gardens, Ussel is composed of a large number of natural spaces, with hiking and walking trails. The municipality is a floral city which obtained three flowers during the contest "villes et villages fleuris".

Transportation edit

The highway A 89 provides an easy access to the towns. Two main exits feeds the city. Exit 23 (Mauriac-Maymac-Ussel Ouest) south-west of town and Exit 24 (Ussel Est-Eygurande) North East of town. The construction of the highway has highly improved the security but also the comfort inside the town. This highway is a component of the European route E70.

Ussel is also crossed by the RN 89. This road which was retrofitted to a regional road links Bordeaux to Lyon via Clermont-Ferrand.

The train station of Ussel lies on a main railtrack linking Lyon to Bordeaux. As of 2022, there are TER Nouvelle-Aquitaine services to Bordeaux, Brive-la-Gaillarde and Limoges.

The closest airports are Limoges-Bellegarde,[4] Clermont-Ferrand-Auvergne.[5]

The Ussel-Thalamy airfield is a leisure and tourist oriented place. It is located a few kilometers away from town.

Twinning edit

Ussel is paired with Auray (France), located in the department of Morbihan.

Economy edit

Forest products and wood edit

Ussel shelters many company in the wood field, like the panel producer MDF Isoroy, the stratified clothes designer Polyrey, the interior door manufacturer Jeld Wen, the front door manufacturer Bel .

Mining and steel edit

The Des farges mine, located 3 kilometers from Ussel, is part of Nouvelle-Aquitaine's mining. The extraction of lead was applied, as well as silver and much more, until its closure in 1981. La Société des fonderies d'Ussel (SFU) is one of the metallurgical representative of the region.

Food processing edit

The city is the center of a farming region, marked by the bovine breed limousine and the pig farming at the same time. The pork butcher group Loste owns a production site of salted meat in the industrial area Empereur. Regional products are beef and pork, hunting and fishing products, and harvest products (cep, chanterelle, blueberry ) Local dishes are the tourtou or the farcidure, for example.

Pharmaceutical industry edit

The industrial sector sets up in High-Corrèze since 1990 when Bristol-Myers Squibb settles a production site in the town of Meymac. In 1999, Pierre Fabre came to Ussel by building a distribution and logistics center in the industrial zone of L'Empereur. The company Chesapeake features a production unit specializing in packaging for the pharmaceutical industry (holsters and instructions), also located in the industrial zone of "The Emperor".

Culture edit

Museum of Ussel edit

The museum of Ussel is dedicated to history, arts and tradition of the region of Ussel.[6] It features some objects and pictorial representations. Another part is devoted to the history of printing and exhibitions of engraving. Many of the objects exhibited concerning agricultural trades were kindly provided by Dr. Ernest Chiocconi, a salvage dealer. He had recovered objects in agricultural holdings which were no longer used.

Transcorrezien Railway Line edit

Ussel was the northern terminus of the Metre Gauge Transcorrezien railway line linking Tulle to Ussel via Marcillac-la-Croisille, Lapleau, Soursac and Liginiac. This line was part of the narrow gauge network of railways in the Corrèze region.[7]

While the line has disappeared, many architectural and track elements still remain and can be visited by the public. Many of the stations are preserved and have been restored and a Tourist Route created which enables visitors to follow the track from its terminus at Languenne on the outskirts of Tulle to Ussel. The road signs are rectangular with "Transcorrezien" shown on them on a white background

The area includes the Roche Noir Viaduct, a suspension bridge crossing the deep gorge of the Luzège river between Lapleau and Soursac. It is possible to visit both ends of the bridge but, while it remains in good condition, it is closed even to pedestrians.

The Soursac end of the bridge leads straight into a 150 m-long curved tunnel. Visitors can park at the Soursac end, walk through the tunnel (which is lit) and emerge by the bridge.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Répertoire national des élus: les maires" (in French)., Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises. 13 September 2022.
  2. ^ "Populations légales 2021". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 28 December 2023.
  3. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE
  4. ^ Limoges-Bellegarde airport site
  5. ^ Clermont-Ferrand-Auvergne airport's site
  6. ^ "Musée d'Ussel". Archived from the original on 26 July 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  7. ^ Details about the Transcorrézien.