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. Highlights
- Private guide for a more personalized experience
- Flexibility to customize your itinerary to your own preferences
- Get inside tips from a local
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 century under the order of Odon, bishop of Bayeux and half brother to William the Conqueror. This monumental architectural wonder using both roman and gothic styles continued to evolve right up until the end of the 18th century.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. This 11th century "comic strip" is one of the best and most complete sources for historians to learn about and analyze medieval costumes, boat building and strategies that were employed in Norman and British camps leading up to the battle of Hasting.
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 Nazi occupation.