Rochechouart, Oradour sur Glane and Bellac

August 21st 2017

Our first stop today was a town called Rochechouart which has a pretty impressive chateau, we parked at the bottom of the town and walked approx 1km up a very steep hill to get there, unfortunately the chateau was only being used currently as a modern art museum so we didn’t pay to go in.

The towns other claim to fame is that it is built on the edge of a crater created by a meteorite that hit the area approx 200 million years ago!

When we left we drove a further 10 miles or so to Orador-sur-Glane which has a very sad history. In June 1944 a group of soldiers from the SS Panzer division entered this large village and slaughtered 642 men,women and children, burning their bodies and the whole village afterwards. No-one to this day knows the precise reason why they did this although there are several theories, one being retaliation to resistance activities.

After the war President Charles de Gaulle ordered that the village remain as it was as a permanent memorial and museum honouring those who died. You enter the village through the modern museum and walk out into the streets preserved as they were, some houses are marked up with the names of the original inhabitants or their uses, shop, garage, cafe etc. Even the church wasn’t spared as all the women and children were herded into it and murdered before being set on fire. There are still a few relics from that time slowly rusting away, cars, beds, sewing machines etc.

There is a stillness about the place and people walking around spoke quietly and showed respect, it didn’t seem appropriate to take lots of photos so I just took the following two.

Our stop for the night wasn’t much further on at a town called Bellac, there are two aires here and we managed to get on the prettiest one which is on the edge of a park and only has room for five motorhomes, ever since we arrived there has been a steady stream of motorhomes looking for a place, lots of disappointment. It has the advantage of being free. The following is the view we are sitting looking at in wonderful warmth.

Tomorrow the forecast is for 30 degrees and as it is a 500m walk up a steep hill to Bellac I think we will be doing that reasonably early.

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