“It was so harrowing, like some sort of ghost village, discarded prams and cars rusting in the street. Everything left as it was after that day, almost 70 years ago.”
This is what a colleague of mine reported after she’d visited Oradour-sur-glane during a trip to France one year. I’ll always remember the impression this place had on her, as she recounted her visit one gloomy Monday morning back in England. This was over ten years ago. Her story had really stuck a chord with me too, which is why we’ve made a detour in our schedule.
On 10th June 1944, 21km northwest of Limoges, Nazi S.S. soldiers surrounded the prosperous village of Oradour-sur-glane and ordered the villagers to go to the fairground. Women and children were taken to the church and men to the barn. Nazi machine guns took 642 lives. There was only one woman who escaped the massacre with her life, Mme Rouffanche. The youngest of the children was only eight years old. The soldiers set fire to the village which has since been left untouched, complete with tram tracks and pre-war electricity lines.
AIRE: RECOMMENDED: About 3 miles outside of Oradour Sur Glane is a lovely little Aire in Javerdat.It’s in a really pretty spot.Turn off D711 in village centre by church onto C8, signed. Aire on right as you exit the village. Four camper spaces and includes water, electricity and sanitation. The Aires guide book we have recommended this landscaped Aire in a small village. Onsite toilet block and local shops 1 minute away. Tokens are free from Auberge bar.
The following day we discovered that there is an Aire actually inOradour Sur Glane itself. We stopped here briefly and it was perfectly suitable but if there’s space in the Aire we found in Javerdat, I’d recommend this instead.