The Vienne is one of the most important rivers in south-western France, a significant left tributary of the lower Loire. It supports numerous hydro-electric dams, and it is the main river of the Limousin region and also of the eastern part of the Poitou-Charentes region.
Two French départements are named after the Vienne river: the Haute-Vienne (87) in the Limousin region and the Vienne (86) in the Poitou-Charentes region.
The Vienne rises as a spring in the department of the Corrèze
, at the foot of Mont Audouze
, on the Plateau de Millevaches
, near Peyrelevade
. It then flows roughly west to the city of Limoges
where it once played a major role in the famous Limoges porcelain industry. A little way after Limoges it takes a turn to the north. En route to its confluence with the Loire, the Vienne is joined by the rivers Creuse
. Finally, after a journey of 372km it reaches the Loire at Candes-Saint-Martin
in the department of Indre-et-Loire
The Vienne flows through the following départements and towns: