Following the French Revolution, Limoges’s butchers earned the right to sell their products in rue de la Boucherie. They used their front rooms to prepare meats and turned them into shop fronts.
In the morning, they would remove the wooden panels which were used to close their shops up and business took over domestic life. Meat stalls were placed out front and meat also hung from hooks. You can still see meat hooks in the butcher’s quarters today (at n°18, rue de la Boucherie, for example).
Cloth sunshades were used to protect meat from the heat and to separate the individual shop fronts. High openings with grates were used for ventilation.
Unlike today, customers would stay outside, watching the butchers slice their meats from the street. The butchers’ wives would stand beneath the sunshades and were in charge of selling the meat.
You can still see shop fronts from the street today. They differ according to when they were built. Old postcards are all that is left of the lively neighbourhood, which remained that way until just after WWII. Close your eyes and try to imagine the ruckus : the noise and the smells of animals, the clicking sounds of coaches along the cobblestone streets, the lovely smell of meats being prepared in the shops, the chattering of butchers’ wives and the church clock ringing…
The butcher shops used to be located along rue de la Boucherie. Notice what is left of the shop fronts and imagine how lively this main street used to be, thanks to archive photographs.