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Difficult to not feel a chill when you walk in here and seeing where the women and children were herded where the altar is and into the alcoves on the side. This is the only building in the village that can be visited from the inside.
Written May 15, 2013
The 1st photo shows the Oradour tramway station. It seems rather meaningful that from the Oradour-sur-Glane sign, only the letters ORAGE remain, Orage meaning Storm.
Written May 15, 2013
The Well is known as the "Tragic Well of Oradour-sur-Glane"
After I entered the village, I walked into a ruined area which used to be a Farmhouse. There were some walls standing and burnt out farm implements. Then I noticed the cross, and what looked like a pile of stones, but turned out to be a Well.
After the massacre, they found many dead bodies in this well and they were not all French, some of them were German Soldiers.
Now, it is a site of rememberance.
Updated Sep 13, 2011
Address: Oradour-sur-glane martyr village
The original village of Oradour-sur-Glane was destroyed on 10th June 1944. The German Waffen-SS company entered the village and massacred 642 of the villagers, including women and children. Only 6 men survived, and one of them was shot as he walked to the cemetery.
After the war, General Charles de Gaulle decided that the village would never be rebuilt, but would remain a memorial to the cruelty of the Nazi occupation.
In 1999, French President Jacques Chirac dedicated a memorial museum, the Centre de la memoire d'Oradour, near the entrance to the Village Martyr. This is where we walked in and entered the village, entry was FREE.
We walked slowly around the village as most other people were doing. We looked at the buildings and what little was left. We saw the names of Business's like the Dentist, and I couldn't help but think of what happened in the Dentist surgery on "that' day. The burnt out sewing machines, the cooking pots, cars, and much more, it brought home the horrors of War.
I think it is a good idea to have a village left like this for our younger generation to visit and understand what happened here and else where in the World.
It really made me wish, that all the War's in the World would end, and that all of us could forever live our lives in peace!
There is no charge at all to enter the ruins themselves via the Centre, which is open every day of the week as follows:
ENTRY IS FREE
opening hours of the Centre de la Mémoire ............
1st February to 28 February..........9-5PM
1st March to 14th May..................9-6PM
15th May to 15th September.........9-7PM
16th September to 31 October......9-6PM
1st November to 15th December...9-5PM
Last entrance 1 hour before closure.
An interesting place to visit. We spent quite a bit of time here.
Updated Sep 12, 2011
The Catholic Church in the martyr village, is the only building that we were allowed to enter, all the other ruins are off limit.
It is a very sad place to visit. The roof and steeple have been destroyed, and inside, there is very little, only what you see in my photo's.
I will fill you in on what happened in that Church on 10th June, 1944.
In the morning, German soldiers circled the village, and then 120 soldiers entered the Village and instructed everyone to assemble in the market place. Men and women in nearby farms were rounded up and brought to the Market place. Mid afternoon, the soldiers seperated the women and children from the men, and took them to the Church and locked the doors.
At 5pm, two German soldiers entered the church and placed a large chest on the altar. They walked out, laying out a long fuse as they went, which they lit before shutting the door. A few seconds later the chest exploded. Some managed to survive the blast but were shot dead by the soldiers as they scrambled out of the bombed building. Only Marguerite Rouffanche managed to get out of the church and escape the bullets being fired by the SS soldiers. Although she was wounded she managed to hide until the Germans left the village. 642 women and children lost their lives in this Church.
After I read the story, this Church became an even sadder place to view, how terrible it must have been for those poor people!
Written Sep 12, 2011
All the women and children were then taken to and locked in the church while the village itself was looted. Meanwhile, the men were led to six barns and sheds where machine-gun nests were already in place. According to the account of a survivor, the soldiers began shooting at them, aiming for their legs so that they would die more slowly. Once the victims were no longer able to move, the soldiers covered their bodies with fuel and set the barns on fire. Only five men escaped; 190 men died.
Written Aug 6, 2009
A 13km drive took us to the medieval town of St. Junien. The town is named after its Patron Saint [6th century religious hermit, named Julien]
The hermit was said to cure the faithful with holy spring water.
The 11th century Romanesque monastery of St-Junien was built around his tomb and is worth a visit for its sculptures and frescoes.
In the town we saw many fountains with unusual sculpture's of a Dragonfly. I believe, the Dragon fly is related to water, so I guess it maybe to do with the holy spring water.
Written Sep 13, 2011