Meet your guide in Bayeux and departure for a 4 hours walking tour
Although it was the first large town liberated by the Allies in Normandy in 1944, Bayeux escaped serious damage during the Second World War, much of the delight of lovers of History. All different styles of architecture from antiquity through the Renaissance up to the modern day are represented in this town that was, until the 11th century, the capital of lower Normandy. Without a doubt, one of the most impressive sites is the cathedral which sits at the heart of this historic town built between the 11th and 13th centuries under the order of Odon, bishop of Bayeux and half-brother to William the Conqueror. You can’t hear of Bayeux without mention of its famous tapestry, an embroidered cloth over 200 feet long and about 18 inches high which tells the story of William the Conqueror between the years of 1064 and 1066, retracing all the events which led William, Duke of Normandy to invade England in October 1066 and depose its King, Harold, thus giving him the title William the Conqueror, King of England. Bayeux also wrote its own page in French history in June 1944 at Place du Chateau when this became the first spot visited in newly liberated France by General Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French, who announced officially the liberation of the first French town after four long years of German occupation.
Gem of the Normand architecture, situated in the heart of the conservation area, the Bayeux Cathedral was consecrated on 14th July 1077, by Bishop Odo of Conteville, in the presence of his illustrious brother,William the Conqueror, duke of Normandy and king of England. It is believed that Odo commissioned the Bayeux Tapestry. The masterpiece from the Middle Ages was probably intended to be hung in the cathedral nave.
The Bayeux Tapestry, embroidery on wool, dates from the 11th century. It was created to tell the story of William the Conqueror and the Battle of Hastings in England (1066), a battle that became known as the Norman Invasion. As you may know, William was the Duke of Normandy who believed he had been promised the kingship of England and invaded the country when the promise was broken. The Tapestry, consisting of 58 embroidered scenes, is approximately 280 feet in length, two feet high and in amazing condition. The final few panels of the tapestry have been missing since the French Revolution. Each of the colorful panels of the Tapestry recounts an important part of the history leading the Battle of Hasting, as well as detailing the Battle and its aftermath. The scenes depict people, events and places and include some commentary in Latin
End of the tour in Bayeux