Oradour-sur-Glane coat of arms
Coat of arms for Oradour-sur-Glane (Orador de Glana)

How to get there and places to stay

when visiting Oradour-sur-Glane (Orador de Glana in Occitan)

All data are believed to be correct at the time of writing: please advise me if you find any changes

Village Plan of Oradour-sur-Glane ruins
 

Village Plan of Oradour-sur-Glane new village
 

Haute-Vienne coat of arms
Coat of arms for the Haute-Vienne (Department 87)


General (including Tourist Office)
 
The Centre de la Mémoire Hotels and other places to stay in the area

Parking for vehicles and places to stay for Motorhomes, Caravans and Tents in the area
 
Currency (the euro) 10th June commemoration ceremony

General (including Tourist Office)        

    The first point to remember is that whilst Oradour-sur-Glane is often referred to simply as, "Oradour", there are in fact seven places in France which include the name "Oradour" as either a part, or as the whole of their title and it is obviously important to make sure that you visit the right one. The second point to remember is that the village name is often spelled in the literature and on the internet as "Oradour sur Glane" without the hyphens, however on this website I am following the French mapping convention which includes them, see: The Oradours of France.

    Oradour-sur-Glane is in the Haute-Vienne, Department 87 of France and is located about 15 miles West of Limoges on the D9, which is off the N141 (E603). It takes about 25-30 minutes to travel by car on quiet roads between the two places. This part of France falls within the area known today as, the Languedoc (The Language of the Oc). "Oc" is the Occitan word for "Yes" and Occitan was, until quite recently, used locally instead of French. In the Occitan language, Oradour-sur-Glane, is spelled as, "Orador de Glana".

    The area of the Haute-Vienne itself is predominantly agricultural in nature, with little industry, apart from that in Limoges itself.

    To get to Oradour-sur-Glane by public transport means taking the train to Limoges and then either bus or taxi out to Oradour. The more usual method these days is to travel direct by car. Assuming that you are coming from the north, take the A20 Autoroute (Motorway) south from Vierzon and follow the brown tourist signs for Oradour-sur-Glane, which begin just north of Limoges. Many motorways in France are toll roads and are not especially cheap to use, but they are relatively traffic free and fast with plentiful stopping places. As a guide to the cost from Calais to Limoges, reckon on about €40 each way for all the tolls (the A20 itself is toll free). The speed limit on all motorways is 130 kph (81mph) in the dry and 110 kph (69mph) in the wet (when the lower limit applies, it is indicated by illuminated roadside signs). I recommend using the Michelin Tourist and Motoring Atlas for France at a scale of 1:200000 (1cm = 2km) as this shows all routes and also indicates which Autoroutes (Motorways) charge tolls and which are toll-free.

    There is a bus service from Limoges to Oradour-sur-Glane. I have not personally tried it, but for a timetable see:

    https://www.rome2rio.com/s/Limoges/Oradour-sur-Glane-Station 

    Travel times and distances from some French cities are: Calais 6¾ hours and 440 miles. Paris 4¼ hours and 260 miles. Bordeaux 2¾ hours and 130 miles. Cherbourg 6¼ hours and 370 miles. All these times and distances are based on taking Autoroutes whenever possible and driving at the maximum permitted speeds. If you are not comfortable with driving at 81mph (130kph) on Autoroutes, then additional time will have to be allowed for the journey.

    Another option which I have not personally tried, but those of you living in the European area might like to consider, is to fly. Currently the budget airline Ryanair (http://www.ryanair.com) offers cheap flights from Stansted and other airports in the UK, to Limoges which can make a fly & car hire visit, far quicker than driving through France, especially after you have taken the channel crossing into account. It could be worthwhile checking with other carriers as well, if this option appeals to you.

    Limoges is famous for its porcelain industry and if you are so inclined there are factory outlets in the city where you can buy both perfect and seconds from all the famous makes. The French National Porcelain Museum (Musée Andrien-Dubouchée) is located within the city just off the N141, with good car parking facilities immediately adjacent.

The Tourist Office in Oradour is located at:

Office de Tourisme.

Place du Champ de Foire.

87520 Oradour-sur-Glane.

France.

GPS Co-Ordinates for the car park entrance for the Tourist Office in decimal notation are: North 45.93248, East 1.03299

Telephone:  +33 (0)5 55 03 13 73 for voice and  +33 (0)5 55 03 24 92 for FAX (the "+" symbol should be replaced by your country's international access code and the "0" in brackets omitted when calling from outside France)

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The Centre de la Mémoire     

    The current visitor centre for the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane is called the, Centre de la Mémoire and it opened in April 1999, replacing the two small kiosks at the north and south ends of the main street. It is on your left as you enter the new village from Limoges and has ample free parking facilities without any height restrictions. The Centre is open every day of the week, but beware the long lunch break between 12:00 and 14:00. During this time the reception area may possibly not be staffed, but the ruins will remain open: see the village map

  • During opening hours you can park your vehicle at no charge on the car park at the Centre de la Mémoire.
     
  • GPS Co-Ordinates for the car park entrance in decimal notation are: North 45.92911, East 1.03319

    The main part of the Centre is free access, but for a charge of €7-80 (as of February 2015) you can enter a special section which provides more background information and watch a video in French (with handsets that provide an English translation). The cost of seeing this exhibition has risen steadily since the Centre opened in April 1999. From April 1999 to February 2002 it was 30FF (€4.90) and from February 2002 to February 2006 it was €6-00 and today in 2015 it is €7-80. It is in this section that there is a display board that attributes the massacre to, SS Commander Dickmann.

    There is often an additional war, or terrorist related exhibition held in the Centre and usually there will be a separate admission charge to enter this section. For example, in 2009 the theme was the terrorist attack on 9-11 in the USA.

    There is no charge at all to enter the ruins themselves via the Centre, which is open every day of the week as follows:

Opening hours of the Centre de la Mémoire

   From 1st February to 28th / 29th February

9h - 17h

   From 1st March to 14th May

9h - 18h

   From 15th May to 15th September

9h - 19h

   From 16th September to 31st October

9h - 18h

   From 1st November to 15th December

9h - 17h

Last entrance 1 hour before closure.

    Annual closure of the Centre de la Mémoire is from 16th December to 31st January inclusive. During this closed period, the ruins are still accessible between 09:00 to 17:00 via the entrance on the road to Confolens (the D9) opposite the Centre de la Mémoire. See the village map of Oradour-sur-Glane for more details and the photograph of the out of hours entrance / exit gate which is intended to be used during this closed period.

The postal address of the Centre is:

Centre de la Mémoire.

87520. Oradour-sur-Glane.

France.

GPS Co-Ordinates for the car park entrance for the Centre de la Mémoire in decimal notation are: North 45.92911, East 1.03319

Telephone numbers are: +33 (0)5 55 43 04 30 for voice and +33 (0)5 55 43 04 31 for FAX (the "+" symbol should be replaced by your country's international access code and the "0" in brackets left out when calling from outside France)

        Note 1: That in order to preserve the ruins in the, "best possible ruined state", frequent re-building work is carried out as necessary and this may prevent access to
    all parts of the village during your visit.

    Note 2: The only building in the ruins that is normally open for public access is the church, all the other properties can be viewed from the outside only.

    Note 3: Photography for private use is permitted without restriction throughout the ruins wherever you can walk, but not in the Centre de la Mémoire itself.

    Note 4: Dogs are not allowed in either the Centre de la Mémoire or the ruins (this policy does not apply to guide dogs).

    Note 5: There is wheelchair access to the ruins via a lift on the ruins side of the Centre de la Mémoire. It is possible to wheel a wheelchair throughout the streets and the cemetery of Oradour, but there is no wheelchair access into the church. The wheelchair access to the ruins is only really viable during the opening hours of the Centre, if you were attempting to gain access, or leave after the centre had closed, then you would have to use the out of hours gate and run the chair over a grassed area to / from the D9 (see above).

    All prices and times were correct as of August 2015, if you find they have changed please let me know and I will update this page.

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Hotels and other places to stay in the area

    Hotels in Oradour-sur-Glane ............

    There are several hotels in the new Oradour, but one that I have used in the past is the, Hotel de la Glane, in the Place du Général de Gaulle. This hotel is no longer in the Logis de France chain but in 2010 cost €49 per night for a double room and another €8 for breakfast. Evening meals cost about €25 per head and for that you get three courses and wine. The restaurant is closed on Monday nights, but you can eat either next door at a separate restaurant, or walk down the main road to the Hotel Milord, which also offers accommodation. The hotel is extremely easy to find, just drive into the village from Limoges on the N141 and it is on your right when you come to the Town Hall. The new village is quite small and it would be difficult to get lost, see the village map of Oradour-sur-Glane new village for a street map (the hotel is between the symbols for the Town Hall and the Post Office). If you want to visit on any of the important anniversary dates, such as 10th June, or 11th November, then it is essential to book well in advance.

    Other places to stay in the area, listed in order of their distance / travel time, from Oradour-sur-Glane

    This list of accommodation was last updated 17 August 2016.

  • Chambres D'Hôtes à Nouic. This is a small hotel run by a British family in Nouic, about 15 minutes away from Oradour-sur-Glane. There is a special offer for the winter, i.e. 1st of November to the 1st of March, of three nights for the price of two, plus, the first night's evening meal at half price. Customers will have to mention, "Oradour winter offer" to benefit from the promotion. There is a family connection with the below listed: Le Gite de Nouic. I have not personally tried or visited the accommodation.
     
  • Le Gite de Nouic. This is a Gite run by a French - English family in Nouic, about 15 minutes away from Oradour-sur-Glane. There is a family connection with the above listed: Chambres D'Hôtes à Nouic. I have not personally tried or visited the accommodation.
     
  • Chambre d’hôtes Le Queyroix-Martin. This accommodation is located in Vaulry, situated in the Monts de Blond, 20 minutes by car north of Oradour-sur-Glane. The chambre d’hôtes is a converted stone built barn and has 3 double bedrooms all with en-suite facilities. Table d’hôtes evening meals can be reserved in advance. The owners are English and can also speak French. I have not personally tried or visited the accommodation.
     
  • Maison Cerise. This is a family run Chambre d'Hote in the hamlet of Machat, near Rochechouart and about 25 mins by car away from Oradour to the south-west. I have not personally tried or visited the accommodation.
     
  • Villechenoux. This is a Bed and Breakfast establishment run by a British family and is located near Nantiat, about 25 minutes away from Oradour by car. I have not personally tried or visited the accommodation.
     
  • Fleur De Lys. This is a Bed and Breakfast establishment run by a British family and is located at Ansac sur Vienne, about 30 minutes away from Oradour by car. I have not personally tried or visited the accommodation.
     
  • Chateau Roussac. This accommodation consists of a boutique hotel / b&b situated in the heart of Roussac (to the North of Oradour). The property is a beautiful 13th Century Château set in beautiful gardens including wonderful lavender grounds. They offer both breakfast and evening meal (table d'hôte) and are 30 minutes from Oradour. I have not personally tried or visited the accommodation.
     
  • Les Coux. This is a Bed & Breakfast  establishment with a separate Gite, near to Le Dorat in Limousin. Set in a 19th Century barn conversion with two Bed and Breakfast rooms with en-suite facilities and two additional rooms in the Gite. It is located about 40 km / 45 minutes drive from Oradour-sur-Glane. I have not personally tried or visited the accommodation.
     
  • La Residence Limousin This is a luxurious 4* B&B set within a beautiful walled garden in the centre of the historic, medieval town of St Yrieix la Perche run by a British/Canadian couple. It is about 1 hour and 37 miles to the south of Oradour. I have not personally tried or visited the accommodation.
  • Les Eaux De La Petite Fontaine This accommodation is situated in the hamlet of Bousseresse, 2kms from the Medieval town of La Souterraine. The property is about 45 miles from Oradour-sur-Glane. I have not personally tried or visited the accommodation.
     
  • Riverside Lets. These are two properties run by a British family on the banks of the river Gartempe, about 10 minutes by car from La Souterraine and 40 from Limoges. I have not personally tried or visited the accommodation.
     
  • Limousin-Cottage. This is a self-catering holiday cottage run by a British couple and is located about 40 minutes drive to the north of Oradour via the A20 Autoroute. I have not personally tried or visited the accommodation.
     
  • Les Trois Chenes. A stone built farm house bed and breakfast and holiday cottage at Videix, it is set within 1.5 ha of mature gardens and meadows. The guest house and three star Gite is set in the heart of the country, within the boundaries of the Perigord-Limousin Natural Park and about 40 minutes from Oradour. Run by a British family who speak English and French. I have not personally tried or visited the accommodation.
     
  • Plantagenet Manor. Your own self-catering eight bedroom "petit" chateau with an in-ground Roman style pool. It is set in the town of Châlus where Richard the Lionheart was killed in 1199. It is about 40 minutes / 25 miles from Oradour-sur-Glane. I have not personally tried or visited the accommodation.
     
  • Les Marronniers (The Chestnut Trees). This is a Gites complex in the Creuse run by a British family and it is within about 90 minutes drive of Oradour. I have not personally tried or visited the accommodation.

    I am willing to accept new entries for this accommodation list at no cost on the proviso that your own website mentions Oradour-sur-Glane and this website. If you would like your property added, please write with full details to: michael@oradour.info This section of the website is checked regularly and any dead links will be removed as soon as discovered.

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Parking for vehicles and places to stay for Motorhomes, Caravans and Tents in the area

    Parking for all vehicles ..........

  • There is plenty of free car parking space in Oradour-sur-Glane, starting with that at the Centre de la Mémoire, this parking can accommodate both cars and Camping Cars (Motorhomes, or RVs) during daylight hours. In addition there is a large car-park just off the roundabout by the Centre de la Mémoire on the D9, see the village plan for details. If towing a caravan you are probably best advised to leave the caravan on a site, such as one of those listed below and visit without it, as parking in the new village has not been designed to accommodate such long outfits.

    Aire for Motorhomes (Camping-Cars, Motorcaravans, Kampers, Wohnmobile, Reismobil, Bobil, Husbil, RVs) ..........

  • There has been an Aire de Repos (often simply called an, "Aire" in French) for Camping-Cars in Oradour-sur-Glane, since 2004. It is clearly signposted as, "Aire de Repos" from the roundabout leading to the Centre de la Mémoire and it is located at the end of the Rue du Stade: see the village map. The Aire itself is free to use overnight and has marked places for 27 outfits (and unmarked capacity for many more). There is a water and electricity point (a borne) where you can get 100 litres of water, or an hour of electricity for €2. Also provided are washbasins (cold water only) and toilets, a children's play area and even a barbeque point. The Aire is open all year and is located adjacent to the sports and football ground on the Rue du Stade: see the village map and view overlooking and view from entrance and view of a Camping-Car using the service point. It is worth knowing that apart from a few spaces near the toilets, the Aire is not very horizontal and so levelling ramps may be required by Camping-Cars depending on how level you like to be when stopped.
     
  • GPS Co-Ordinates (in decimal notation) for the entrance to the Aire are: North 45.93570, East 1.02472
     
  • During opening hours you can park your car or motorcaravan at no charge on the car park at the Centre de la Mémoire.
     
  • It is obvious that many visitors who come to Oradour by Camping-Car, do not realise the significance of the 10th of June and whilst the Aire de Repos was quite full on the 8th and 9th of June in 2009 and again in 2012, it was very quiet on the 10th.

    Camping-Car (Motorhome or, RV) Caravan and Tent Camp sites ..........

  • Camping des Alouettes in Cognac-la-Forêt. This is a pleasant quiet rural site which has an outdoor swimming pool that I have stayed at in 2014. The website has English, French and Dutch sections. Telephone 05 55 03 26 93. GPS coordinates (in decimal notation) are: North 45.82494, East 0.99674
     

  • Camp Municipal d'Uzurat This is a pleasant site just on the edge of Limoges and by the side of a lake, with a supermarket within easy walking distance. Telephone 05 55 38 49 43. GPS coordinates (in decimal notation) are: North 45.86951, East 1.27370

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Currency (the euro)

    For those wishing to visit France and see for yourselves the locations mentioned in this website, remember that starting on 1st January 2002 France changed its currency from the French Franc (FF) to the euro (€). This process was completed on 17 February 2002 and now only euro are legal tender. The exchange rate for the Franc to the euro has been fixed at, €1 equals FF 6.55957 and I believe that you can still change old French Franc bank notes only, to euro by way of the Bank de France.

    At the time of writing (August 2015) the exchange rate for the $ to the euro was, $1-00 equals approximately €0-90 and for the £ it was £1-00 equals approximately €1-42. Before making any plans of your own, be sure to check the current exchange rate for yourself.

     It was not possible to obtain euro before 1st January 2002, but traveller's cheques were available several months in advance for the new currency.

    In these nasty Credit Crunch days, the exchange rates are subject to some volatility and I recommend making your own investigations before doing any serious planning for a trip to France (or anywhere else for that matter).

    In (British) English the plural of euro, is euro (not euros, or Euros) and for cent, it is cent, not cents. Both euro and cent are intended to be written in lower case. The currency is divided into euro and cent, with 100 cent to the euro, so 2-55 is spoken as, "two euro and fifty-five cent". These intentions are often ignored and it is common to hear and see written the term, "Euros" and "Cents". In France I have often heard French people refer to Euros and Centimes, so things are not as black-and-white as official sources would wish.

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10th June commemoration ceremony

    Every year on the 10th of June, a commemoration ceremony is held in Oradour-sur-Glane to mark the anniversary of the tragedy. This event takes the form of a service at the church in the new village, followed by a short meeting in the Town Hall, followed by a visit to the school memorial, then on to the ruined church and finally a wreath laying at the main memorial in the cemetery. Usually the ceremony is attended by various dignitaries representing local and regional government as well as Robert Hébras and Marcel Darthout. On major anniversaries, representatives from the national government will also attend. See the Picture Gallery for more images of the 65th anniversary.

As an example of the timing of events, here is the program for the 68th anniversary, held on Sunday June 10th 2012. Note that the participants march in procession from place to place, carrying the banners of their various organisations with them.

14:00 ... Mass in the Catholic new church of Oradour-sur-Glane

15:00 ... Reception of the personalities and other participants in the Town Hall

15:15 ... The procession leaves the Town Hall

15:30 ... Laying of the wreaths at the monument for the children at the school

15:45 ... Laying of the wreaths at the monument for the dead of both World Wars

16:15 ... Laying of the wreaths in the old church of Oradour-sur-Glane

16:25 ... A minutes silence held on the fairground of the old village of Oradour-sur-Glane

16:35 ... Laying of the wreaths at the memorial to the dead of Oradour in the cemetery

17:00 ... End of the ceremony

For the timing of the event for any particular year and the exact program to be followed, it is best to enquire at the Centre de la Mémoire nearer the time.

 

 
Introduction
 
 Timeline  How to get there & places to stay  Rank table for the Waffen-SS  Site Map
 
Summary of In a Ruined State
 
 Picture Gallery  Bibliography  Notes on Language and terms used  Additions and Updates
 
In a Ruined State
 
 Appendices  Frequently asked questions (FAQ)  Latest News  

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© Michael Williams: revised 17 August 2016.