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: http://www.oradour.org/sites/default/files/uploads/infos%20pratiques/BUS.pdf

    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

    The main part of the Centre is free access, but for a charge of €7-70 (as of February 2011) 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. 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)

    The website for the Centre is shown on the Links page

    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.

    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 July 2010, 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 accomodation. 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 .............
 

    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 ..........

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

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

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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 (July 2012) the exchange rate for the $ to the euro was, $1-00 equals approximately €0-81 and for the £ it was £1-00 equals approximately €1-25. 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 In a Ruined State Timeline How to get there & places to stay Picture Gallery
Appendices Bibliography Latest News Frequently asked questions (FAQ) Site Map
Summary of In a Ruined State Rank table for the Waffen-SS Notes on Language and terms used Links to other sites Additions and Updates
   

 

 

 


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© Michael Williams: revised 08 December 2014.