Lower Town in Oradour-sur-Glane

The Lower Town in the ruined village of Oradour-sur-Glane is the section of the main street that is at the south end. The church where the women and children were massacred is behind the camera in the photo above which shows Rue de Emile Desourteaux as it curves around and climbs up to the Upper Town at the north end of the village. Les Bordes road is to the right behind the first building on the right. The town is on the ridge of a gentle hill. Notice the overhead electrical wires which get electricity from the tram line that was installed in 1911.

The photo below shows a view of the outdoor market place which is to the left of the tree. The church is on the left, but out of camera range. This market place had a pitched roof over it which collapsed when the town was destroyed. The large tree was there before the massacre.

The tree shown in the photo above is the "Tree of Liberty," planted in 1848 after the revolution when the Second Republic was established. To the left of the tree is the remains of the market hall, which was built in 1903. On the 15th of each month, there was a market day in Oradour-sur-Glane.

The photo above shows the southern entrance to the town in the center background. The small building at the end of the road was the original building where tourists could buy postcards, maps and brochures about the town. On the right is the old church and behind it, the presbytery where two priests and a seminary student lived. All three were killed in the massacre.

This is the road that the SS soldiers used to enter the town. The opening in the retaining wall in the right hand corner of the photo above was for a water pump, since the town had no running water. The church doorway above this opening is the entrance to the sacistry, where the women and children tried to find refuge, but SS soldiers standing guard outside the church fired machine guns into the room.

The area across the road from the church is covered with grass and is labeled as the Market Square on some maps. This is NOT the place where the villagers were assembled, although the assembly place is also called the Market Square by some authors of books about the village.

The photo below shows the grassy area across from the church which is in the background. The tree in the foreground is a chestnut tree. The Bouchoule Barn, where some of the women and children were killed, is to the right and behind the camera in this view.

Les Bordes Road