Bayeux, France

Friday, November 4, 2016

We stayed in an Airbnb just outside the center of Bayeux. It served as our home base to explore the great sights along the Normandy coast: Le Mont Saint-Michel, the D-Day landing beaches, and of course the town of Bayeux itself. 
Only six miles from the D-Day beaches, Bayeux was first city liberated after the landing. Incredibly, the town was spared the bombs of WWII after a local chaplain made sure London knew his city was not a German headquarters. He also pointed out that the city was of no strategic importance and was so convincing that a scheduled bombing run was canceled. Thus, Bayeux is the closest city to the D-Day landing sites that wasn't destroyed.  
Bayeux has an enjoyable town center that is a pleasure to stroll.
The little Aure River flows through it.

We were here to see one major thing in particular: the Bayeux Tapestry!
The incredible almost 70 meter long (that's about 210 feet!) tapestry is housed in an excellent museum. This photo below shows less than half of it as it was displayed in a horseshoe that curved around the other side as well. A great 20 minute audio guide gives narration of each scene, complete with period music. Typically we don't do the audioguides, but we did this time and it made the visit so much more interesting.
The entire tapestry, lol:
The tapestry is so long and skinny because it was designed to hang in the nave of the Bayeux cathedral as a reminder for locals of their ancestor's courage. Made of wool embroidered onto linen, this historically precious document tells the story of William the Conquer's rise from duke of Normandy (where he was known as William the Bastard) to King of England after his victory over King Harold at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.
We spied Le Mont Saint-Michel depicted in the tapestry!
After enjoying seeing one of the highlights of Western Civilization, we continued exploring the charming town center. 

What Roman numeral can climb a wall? IV. :)
Eventually we made our way to the towering Bayeux Cathedral. The church is as big as Paris' Notre Dame and dominates the skyline of town. 
The view down the nave shows a mix of Romanesque (round arches on the first story) and Gothic (pointed arches above). This was the original home of the Bayeux tapestry. It would be cool to see it hung here sometime. 
And a little random, but just a little bit of decor from the airbnb we stayed at that night:
Our family in Bayeux, France on Monday October 17th 2016.
Then we went to a place that's been on my bucketlist for years: Le Mont Saint-Michel!

1 comment

  1. LOL to the IV joke! That is funny! LOVING the history of this town! Great photos!!!!


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