Vienne (river)

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Limoges bridge Saint Martial.JPG
The Vienne in Limoges.
Origin Plateau de Millevaches
Mouth Loire
47°12′45″N 0°4′31″E / 47.21250°N 0.07528°E / 47.21250; 0.07528 (Loire-Vienne)Coordinates: 47°12′45″N 0°4′31″E / 47.21250°N 0.07528°E / 47.21250; 0.07528 (Loire-Vienne)
Basin countries France
Length 363 km
Source elevation 880 m
Avg. discharge 203 m³/s
Basin area 21,105 km²
River Vienne in wooded landscape near Peyrelevade, close to its source on the Millevaches Massif.

The Vienne (Occitan: Vinhana) 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 and Clain. Finally, after a journey of 372 km it reaches the Loire at Candes-Saint-Martin in the department of Indre-et-Loire.

The Vienne flows through the following départements and towns:

Tributaries include: