Bayeux Old Town

Bayeux: A Stopover in the Town of Miracles

Tiếng Việt

On the way from Paris to Mount Saint Michael, I made a stopover at Bayeux. It’s 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…


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 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. Furthermore, it was the first town in French soil that the Allied liberated.

A beautiful corner in the Old Town
Mathilde Café – The most beautiful in town
The charming Old Town

Bayeux Tapestry

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 metres long and 50 centimetres 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.

Bayeux Cathedral in Gothic style
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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54 thoughts on “Bayeux: A Stopover in the Town of Miracles”

  1. Damn, that is some fairy tale level stuff right here!

  2. Bama – Jakarta, Indonesia – Based in Jakarta, always curious about the world, always fascinated by ancient temples, easily pleased by food.
    Bama says:

    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.

    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.

  3. Mel & Suan – Singapore – Mel works his day job for a living, but lives for antiquities, history and geography at all other times. He enjoys writing and thought sharing and obviously traveling. Suan is a homey person, who like girlie stuff such as cross stitching etc. Enjoys shopping & modeling for Mel. What a match!
    Mel & Suan says:

    Incredibly beautiful town indeed. Cannot recall why we skipped Bayeux on our drive!! We are guessing no photos allowed of the tapestry right?

    1. 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 🙂

      1. Mel & Suan – Singapore – Mel works his day job for a living, but lives for antiquities, history and geography at all other times. He enjoys writing and thought sharing and obviously traveling. Suan is a homey person, who like girlie stuff such as cross stitching etc. Enjoys shopping & modeling for Mel. What a match!
        Mel & Suan says:

        Oh. Well, that’s alright. Its now memories right?

      2. Yes, it is 🙂 I was there last summer, just a few days before the Second World War Remembrance Day.

      3. 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…

      4. 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.

  4. Nano @ Travels With Nano – Tokyo, Japan – Hi, I'm Nano! Welcome to my site! Travels With Nano is filled with everything I am passionate about: uncovering the world one sight, bite and cultural experience at a time. I'm here to share savvy travel tips and inspire (not influence!) your future travel adventures. Needless to say, I am thrilled to have you here reading!
    Nano @ Travel With Nano B. says:

    WOW what an atmospheric and charming town, definitely worth a visit! Loved the quintessential cobbled streets, and the cafe looked amazing!

  5. Lisa – I’m Lisa, 21, 100% Italian, currently living and working as Digital Marketing Executive in my beloved London but during my spare time I love globetrotting around Europe [and not only, actually]! Travels are just ONE of my hobbies though, I enjoy crafting, eating & cooking healthy food and I love love loooove singing, especially blues and soul music!
    fromdreamtoplan says:

    Oh wow, this place looks amazing! Thanks for sharing, will add it to my travel list!! 🙂

    Lisa | http://www.fromdreamtoplan.net/

  6. 3sistersabroad – Albury New South Wales – Love to travel, meeting new people. Love taking photos of food and pets. Places I have traveled. Sharing my travels and what works for me. I also have 2 Rare Diseases, Tuberous Sclerosis and Lam Lung Disease. I also have Hashimoto's Thyroid Disease, Fibromyaglia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, High Blood Pressure and Meniers Disease. These conditions will not stop me from traveling the globe.
    3sistersabroad says:

    what a beautiful place , you captured its essence xx

  7. Don’t know if it’s the places you go to, or your brilliant photography, but they look gorgeous!! 😀

  8. Jolene – Sydney, Australia – Jolene is a banker by trade, a writer at heart, and is a contributor to Thought Catalog. You are welcome to peek into her adventures and reflections on films and life at "SoMuchToTellYou", her ultimate love affair with words.
    Jolene says:

    Very pretty and dreamy…

    1. 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 🙂

      1. Thank you for reading it! I am sure you will take breathtaking photos of the region, and I cannot wait to see them!

  9. goingearthstyle – I'm just a little guy that loves traveling and going to places on earth that have not been visited a lot by tourists. I love photography so it's a perfect combination in my opinion, traveling and photography.
    goingearthstyle says:

    Love your photos man! always great to see 🙂

    1. Your comment made my day. Thanks a lot! How was your photography class? I look forward to seeing your masterpieces 😉

      1. goingearthstyle – I'm just a little guy that loves traveling and going to places on earth that have not been visited a lot by tourists. I love photography so it's a perfect combination in my opinion, traveling and photography.
        goingearthstyle says:

        you’re welcome 🙂 photography class is going well, a lot of info and assignments but up till now it’s all good 🙂

  10. 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.

  11. 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 ?

  12. gunnardeckare – Jag skriver om deckare, trädgård, natur och våra resor till framförallt Italien/I write about crime fiction, garden, nature and travels to Italy and other countries/ Scrivo di libri gialli e sui nostri viaggi in Italia
    gunnardeckare says:

    Wonderful photos! Makes me think want to visit the place

  13. 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.

    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.

  14. vinneve – I believe in this quote "Life is a JOURNEY, travel it well." Wherever we may end up so long as there is LOVE we will be happy!
    vinneve says:

    You have some beautiful photos with vibrant colours.

      1. vinneve – I believe in this quote "Life is a JOURNEY, travel it well." Wherever we may end up so long as there is LOVE we will be happy!
        vinneve says:

        Welcome 🙂

  15. spiritofdragonflies – New York State – My purpose in life is always transforming and expanding. The focus is still to inspire others to reach their goals, dreams, higher selves, but now mainly to guide you back to a connection with nature, with living simply, finding joy in the everyday experiences. Are you ready to transform your life forever, to enhance your health, peace and joy in life? Allow me to guide you along the steps toward reaching your inspirational, joyful life. I am a lover of life, a certified Mindfulness Outdoor Experience Guide, Certified QSCA Life Coach, Therapeutic Touch practitioner, amateur photographer, and aspiring writer taking steps to reach my own goals and loving every minute. Love and Light!
    spiritofdragonflies says:

    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.

  16. Gaurav. G – India – An Airline Professional cum Hotelier who likes blogging, writing and bringing awareness.
    Gaurav. G says:

    nice photos

  17. 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 🙂

    1. 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!

  18. 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 🙂

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