Visit Bayeux by Mouse
The town of Bayeux is in Normandy, quite near the invasion beaches of WWII, only 11 miles southeast of Omaha Beach and 162 miles northwest of Paris. Miraculously, considering its proximity to the invasion beaches, Bayeux remained largely intact during the war. Consequently it contains many old buildings dating from the 15th century and before. It has two attractions worth anyone's visit. The first is among the most unique artifacts in the world, the so-called Bayeux Tapestry. The second is the beautiful Cathedral of Our Lady. We owe the existence of both to Bishop Odo, the half-brother of William the Conquerer who commissioned the former and got the latter started.
The tapestry is unique in at least two respects. First, the tapestry dates from 1066 AD, so it is now 941 years old. Not many pieces of cloth have survived in such great shape for that number of years. Second, it is perhaps the first surviving work that was pretty clearly designed as a public relations document. This tapestry is quite simply an embroidered story of William the Conqurer's conquest of England's King Harold in the battle of Hastings. It is embroidered literally by a number of skilled embroidery artists either in England or in France (which country is still argued over). And the story it tells is also as figuratively embroidered as any puff piece designed today. It is 230 foot long and you can see all of it displayed in Bayeux or you can inspect it on the internet.
The Cathedral also dates from the latter part of the 11th century.
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