Before moving on to our next base, we spent a day in Bayeux, home to the Bayeux Tapestry and the Bayeux Cathedral. Bayeux is only six miles from the D-Day beaches and was liberated by the British on D-plus 1, June 7, 1944. Unlike a number of other towns in Normandy, it was virtually untouched by allied bombing so many of the historical buildings remain.
The most famous tourist attraction in Bayeux is the Bayeux Tapestry.
The tapestry is thought to have been commissioned by William the Conqueror’s brother, Bishop Odo, for the Bayeux Cathedral’s dedication in 1077. It depicts events leading up to the Norman conquest of England by William, Duke of Normandy, during the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The tapestry is an embroidered cloth 20 inches wide and and 230 feet long. Photos weren’t allowed so here are a couple of scenes snagged from the Internet.
Next stop was the Cathedral where the tapestry originally hung. Since most people couldn’t read in 1077, it was a way of telling the story of the Norman defeat of the English to the common folk. For small town Bayeux, the cathedral is as large as Notre Dame in Paris.
Since Bayeux was part of the British sector during the Normandy invasion, there is still a strong bond between the French and the British (despite that little episode with William the Conqueror).
After a while one cathedral starts looking like any other. We have started calling them ABC’s, another bloody cathedral. However this one had some unique features. Throughout the interior were large photos of conflict in various parts of the world. I couldn’t find an explanation but I believe that they were placed there to bring attention to the futility of war and the hope that mankind may someday learn to live in peace. Here are a couple of examples.
It was a beautiful fall day so we found a little creekside cafe for lunch.
And one food photo for the post. Galettes are made with buckwheat and have savory fillings as opposed to crepes which tend to be sweet.
Next stop: Cancale and Mont Saint Michel