On the way from Paris to Mont Saint Michel, I made a stopover at Bayeux. It’s a small town in Calvados, just 10 kilometers 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…
Bayeux boasts two miracles. Despite being very close to devastating war sites such as D-Day Beaches, the town miraculously remained unscratched. Its charming medieval center 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. Furthermore, it was the first town on French soil that the Allied liberated.
Another visible miracle was the Bayeux Tapestry – a UNESCO Registered Heritage and the world’s most celebrated piece of needlework. The embroidered tapestry was 70 meters long and 50 centimeters high. It vividly conjures up 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 safe in the cathedral. But now Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux is the guardian of this masterpiece. The mystery surrounding the tapestry is how it could survive after all these years, without getting lost, burnt, or destroyed.
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?
51 thoughts on “Bayeux: A Stopover in the Town of Miracles”
Damn, that is some fairy tale level stuff right here!
Hihi thanks 🙂 The place looked really gorgeous at dusk.
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.
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.
Incredibly beautiful town indeed. Cannot recall why we skipped Bayeux on our drive!! We are guessing no photos allowed of the tapestry right?
Hm… I cannot remember whether they forbid photographing or not. But I did not make any photo because of the reflection and the bad light condition 🙂
Oh. Well, that’s alright. Its now memories right?
Yes, it is 🙂 I was there last summer, just a few days before the Second World War Remembrance Day.
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… 🙂
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.
WOW what an atmospheric and charming town, definitely worth a visit! Loved the quintessential cobbled streets, and the cafe looked amazing!
Thanks a lot, Nano 🙂 They served really great Eclair there.
Vive la France!
I love the last picture!
Thanks a lot, Eleazar! 🙂 It is my favourite too haha.
Oh wow, this place looks amazing! Thanks for sharing, will add it to my travel list!! 🙂
Lisa | http://www.fromdreamtoplan.net/
You welcome 🙂
what a beautiful place , you captured its essence xx
Many thanks 😉
Don’t know if it’s the places you go to, or your brilliant photography, but they look gorgeous!! 😀
Haha it is very kind of you! 🙂
Very pretty and dreamy… 😍
Thank you 😉
What a magical place! I love how you introduce us hidden cities 🙂
Hihi many thanks! I am glad that you like it. Just read your post about Aix-Provence, such an amazing place! I should plan a trip to Southern France 🙂
Thank you for reading it! I am sure you will take breathtaking photos of the region, and I cannot wait to see them!
Love your photos man! always great to see 🙂
Your comment made my day. Thanks a lot! How was your photography class? I look forward to seeing your masterpieces 😉
you’re welcome 🙂 photography class is going well, a lot of info and assignments but up till now it’s all good 🙂
Wonderful photos. I was in Bayeux in the fall after the Normandy beaches and the tapestry, and the town, were breathtaking. Your images are just superb. Thank you.
My pleasure! 🙂 I am glad that you like them.
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Wonderful photos! Makes me think want to visit the place
Many thanks! Bayeux is small but indeed beautiful. It’s definitely worth a trip 🙂
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.
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.
You have some beautiful photos with vibrant colours.
It is very kind of you. Thank you, Vinneve 🙂
Very charming location. It feels wonderful to know such a place has existed throughout out the wars and turmoil unscathed. Thank you for selecting this location to share. The photos are beautiful.
It is very kind of you 🙂 Many thanks!
That cathedral looks like Disneyland castle
Thank you! 🙂
What an idyllic place! I didn’t know about it, but it looks like a detour to visit it is well worth it!! I love the photos, specially the ones at golden hour/sunset! Tones are gorgeous 🙂
Many thanks 😀
Interesting story about the Bayeux Tapestry. Do they have the Battle of Hastings included there?
Yes, the whole battle 🙂 I think the tapestry also tells the story before the battle. It explains the reason for the invasion. It’s pretty long!
This town is so charming. Definitely an old world charm here! I will have to take note of this for our next trip to France.
Have a great weekend Len 🙂
You too 🙂 It’s definitely worth a detour if you intend to visit Normandy.