October 2019

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Orléans, an hour's train ride south of Paris, was seriously leveled in WWII bombing, so buildings are more modern looking, having been rebuilt.





Its huge cathedral was resurrected and dominates the skyline.


Joan of Arc is the local heroine, although she was in Orléans only 10 days – April 29 to May 9, 1429. She is credited with lifting the siege of the English during the Hundred Years War. Orléans is grateful to this day with statues that revere her.


It was on to the Town Hall with our astute guide Thierry...

...where we encountered this guy, literally the bastard of Orleans. As Thierry said, the French don't mince words. Illegitimate son of Louis I, duke of Orléans (a son of Charles V), and his mistress, Jean de Dunois took part in Hundred Year War battles with Joan of Arc.



It was on to a museum and research center concerning the Holocaust. There were three internment camps around Orléans. Jews rounded up in Paris were sent to camps near the city – Beaune-la-Roland, Pithiviers and Jargeau – before being shipped to Auschwitz and other extermination centers.

Pictured here is part of a barracks where people were housed.

It wasn’t until 50 years later that French President Jacques Chirac, (recently deceased), acknowledged French collaboration with Nazi occupiers.

Several French people in the group said they were taught nothing about this in school.

Current Liberation commemorations are not side stepping the issue.


André, a French person in our group, found mention of a cousin in the children’s section. He will be working with the staff there to get a picture of her to add to the memorial.

One of the first things noticed is remarkable ways of pruning plants.






Then there is the proverbial pigeon on every statue...

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