BAYEUX was the first town to be liberated by the Allies in 1944 and fortunate to escape war damage. Today, an attractive nucleus of 15th- 19th-century buildings remains around its central main streets, rue St-Martin and rue St-Jean. The latter is lined with stores and cafés.
We started our visit in one of those cafés, Karl ordering the fruit crêpe. I had a regular salad that didn't warrant a photo next to this piece of art!
Above the town rise the spires and domed lantern tower of the Gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame.
The original Romanesque church that stood here was consecrated on July 14, 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 likely that Bayeux's famous tapestry was commissioned for this occasion by Bishop Odo.
The Bayeux Tapestry (Tapisserie de Bayeux) is an embroidered cloth—not an actual tapestry—nearly 70 metres (230 ft) long, which depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England concerning William, Duke of Normandy and Harold, Earl of Wessex, later King of England, and culminating in the Battle of Hastings. The tapestry consists of some fifty scenes with Latin captions, embroidered on linen with coloured woollen yarns. It is likely that it was made in England—not Bayeux—in the 1070s.
In 1729 the hanging was rediscovered by scholars at a time when it was being displayed annually in Bayeux Cathedral. The tapestry is now displayed in a renovated seminary, Centre Guillaume-le-Conquérant-Tapisserie de Bayeux, which gives a detailed audiovisual explanation of events leading up to the Norman conquest.
The tapestry is valued as a work of art, a historical document, an early example of spin, and an entertaining read.
We enjoyed it so much that we viewed it twice!
We left Bayeux as the rain began to fall. It seems to be doing that a lot these days.... This is what our trip to Honfleur was like...
Honfleur is our base for a few days, and since we've been here before, we know where to find all the great restaurants. Tonight, we re-visited "Les Deux Ponts", a place we had enjoyed very much two years ago.
Smoked salmon served with toast and cream cheese
Onion soup with LOTS of cheese!
Profiterole with vanilla ice-cream inside, and chocolate sauce on side.