On the way from Paris to Mont Saint-Michel, we made a stop over at Bayeux – a small town in Calvados, just 10 kilometres from the Channel coast. As the witness of two cross- Channel invasions (the Norman Conquest of England and the Operation Overlord), almost 900 years apart, Bayeux certainly plays a decisive role in Western history. But the historical value was not the only reason that drew us to this town…

Tiếng Việt

Bayeux boasts two miracles. Despite being very close to devastated war sites such as D-Day Beaches, the town of Bayeux miraculously remained unscratched. Bayeux’s charming medieval centre with cobbled streets, half-timbered houses and café, as well as the unmistakable Norman Gothic cathedral emerged intact. During the course of World War II, Bayeux itself was never bombed by either side and it was the first town in French soil that was liberated by the Allied.

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Bayeux Old Town
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Mathilde Café – One of the oldest and most beautiful cafés in town.

Another visible miracle was the Bayeux Tapestry – a UNESCO Heritage and the world’s most celebrated piece of needlework. The embroidered tapestry was 70 metres long and 50 centimetres high. It vividly conjures up the life in the 11th century and depicts the events leading up to the first cross-Channel invasion. In the Middle Age, the tapestry was kept in the cathedral, but now it is exhibited in the nearby Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux (www.bayeuxmuseum.com). The mystery surrounding the tapestry is how it could survive after all these years, without getting lost, burnt or destroyed.

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Bayeux Cathedral
Bayeux Tapestry © S.Maurice – Bayeux Museum

It could be a mere coincidence that Bayeux and its tapestry remained undamaged for several years. But staying intact for several centuries must be a miracle, don’t you think?

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Bayeux Old Town

Điều kì diệu ở Bayeux

Nằm cách bờ Đại Tây Dương 10 km, Bayeux là một thị trấn nhỏ thuộc vùng Normandy, Tây Bắc nước Pháp. Bayeux từng chứng kiến hai sự kiện quan trọng trong lịch sử phương Tây: cuộc tấn công vượt eo biển Mache của người Norman vào thế kỉ 11  và cuộc đổ bộ của quân Đồng Minh vào Pháp trong Thế Chiến Thứ Hai. Bayeux không chỉ mang một giá trị lịch sử quan trọng, nó còn là một thị trấn khá kì lạ.

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Bayeux Old Town
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Mathilde Café – One of the oldest and most beautiful cafés in town.

Mặc dù nằm rất gần khu chiến sự, Bayeux không phải hứng chịu một trận bom nào. Toàn bộ khu phố cổ , với những con đường lót đá, những căn nhà và càfe cổ đều được giữ nguyên vẹn một cách kì diệu. Kể cả nhà thờ cổ theo phong cách Gothic từ thế kỉ 15 cũng không phải hứng chịu một tổn thất nào.

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Bayeux Cathedral

Một điều kì diệu khác ở Bayeux là sự tồn tại của tấm thảm Bayeux nổi tiếng. Mặc dù trải qua nhiều thế kỉ, nhưng tấm thảm Bayeux rất ít bị hư hại. Tấm thảm thêu dài 70m và cao 50 cm, là một di sản văn hóa thế giới. Nó có nguồn gốc từ khoảng thế kỉ 11 và miêu tả chuỗi sự kiện dẫn đến cuộc tiến công vào Anh qua eo biển Manche của William, thủ lĩnh của người Norman. Hiện nay, tấm thảm được trưng bày tại viện bảo tàng Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux (www.bayeuxmuseum.com) và cho đến bây giờ, người ta vẫn chưa thể xác định được tại sao tấm thảm lại có thể tồn tại lâu đến vậy, làm sao nó có thể chống lại hỏa hoạn hay trộm cướp trong suốt nhiều thế kỉ.

Bayeux Tapestry © S.Maurice – BayeuxMuseum
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Bayeux Old Town

44 comments

  1. For a small town, Bayeux seems to offer a lot. The cathedral looks impressive, the Bayeux Tapestry certainly is an invaluable cultural heritage, and Mathilda Café looks stunning! Looking at its beautiful interior really whets my appetite. I really love your photo of Bayeux Old Town — such view of a European old town never gets old.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks, Bama 🙂 Bayeux is indeed beautiful, and as a history lover I am sure you will like this place. It is also a good starting point if you want to visit the D-Day Beaches.

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      1. Bad light condition because incorrect light (& other stuff as well) will damage colour and textile for ever, no remedies for that. One can try adjusting the camera for low light. I remember I took a picture of the original 4 horses on Venice’s Saint Mark, which were in the attic of said church, and it was forbidden to take it with flash. I took a chance and — the picture is great even today. I guess the Japanese who were with me there, and took their shot with flashes, were not so successful, because the light exploded on the horses… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for the advice, Isabela! I may try to adjust the light the next time. I normally set the flash at Auto so it does not work really well in a bad light condition.

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  2. Hello, thank you for this beautiful post on Bayeux. We would like to offer the opportunity to your followers to have a great view of the Bayeux Tapestry with sending you one of our professional pictures. Would you agree to send your email so that we can give it to you ?

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  3. No minor miracle that Bayeux was almost untouched during the 1944 Normandy battles. It was the first city in France to be retaken by the Allies. The nearby city of Caen was practically destroyed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed. I have read that the Allied intended to liberate Caen on the D-Day as well. But the German intensified the defense here so they have to reduce the city to rubble.

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