Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Bayeux

The city of Bayeux is famous for the Bayeux Tapestry, which pictorially recounts the successful invasion of England by William the Duke of Normandy, who afterwards became known as William the Conqueror.  The tapestry comprises two pieces of cloth, a woolen cloth into which depictions are sewn and a backing cloth made of linen, which includes numbers above each scene in the story.  The tapestry has been removed from Bayeux several times, but currently resides in its own museum.

The story set forth on the Bayeux Tapestry involves more than Duke William invading England.  It starts with the English king Edward the Confessor, knowing that he is near death and still childless, instructing his brother-in-law Harold go to Normandy and inform William that he is to inherit the English throne.  Harold constructs ships and sails southward, but goes off course and lands in Picardy, where he is held captive under the shipwreck laws of the day.  William is able to secure Harold's release and brings him to Normandy, where he makes him swear a loyalty oath.  Meanwhile, William is at war with the Duke of Brittany, and with Harold, leads a successful campaign against him.  Harold then sails back to England, where King Edward dies.  Instead of staying loyal to William, Harold sets himself up as King of England, thus violating his oath.  In response to this betrayal, William and his forces sail for England, land at Pevensey, and engage Harold and his troops.  During the battle, Harold is killed after an arrow pierces his eye.  William's forces win the battle, after which he is crowned King of England.

The foregoing is, of course, a summary made from memory by yours truly.  Click on the link above for more complete information.  As you might expect, taking pictures of the tapestry is interdit, so I can present only photos from the city itself.  For more about the city of Bayeux, go here.

The Aure river flows through Bayeux, and has been contained by channels that take it between and under buildings.  Here is a watergate near the place our bus was parked.

Here's one view of the Bayeux Cathedral.

Here, the Cathedral and its environs are seen from another direction.  We actually had some fair weather that day.

A short distance west of the Cathedral is Place Charles de Gaulle, which includes a fountain.

This a part of the Parc D'Ornano, which is right next to where our bus was parked.

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