Vienne (river)

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Limoges bridge Saint Martial.JPG
The Vienne in Limoges.
Other name(s)Occitan: La Vinhana
Physical characteristics
Main sourcePlateau de Millevaches
880 m (2,890 ft)
River mouthLoire
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)
Length363 km (226 mi)
  • Average rate:
    203 m3/s (7,200 cu ft/s)
Basin features
ProgressionLoireAtlantic Ocean
Basin size21,105 km2 (8,149 sq mi)
The 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. It is a significant left tributary of the lower Loire. It supports numerous hydro-electric dams, and it is the main river of the northern part of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region.

Two French departments are named after the Vienne: Haute-Vienne (87) in the Limousin region and Vienne (86) both in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region.


The Vienne rises as a spring in the department of 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 departments and towns:

Tributaries include: