Saturday, June 28, 2014

Bayeux Tapestry and Cathedral

Bayeux Tapestry and Cathedral - 03
Bayeux Tapestry and Cathedral - 08
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Our last day in Bayeux was very low key. The combined effect of taking in the DDay beaches plus racing around the region because our driver was in such a hurry the day before left us all pretty tired.

We'd decided to go see the Bayeux Tapestry first thing in the morning so the museum wouldn't be too crowded. Since you can't take pictures inside (for obvious reasons), I only have my picture in front of the museum. You can see the panels of the Tapestry here. This was one of the things I was most excited to see in France. Scholars estimate the BT was made in about the 1070s as a piece of propaganda detailing the importance of oath-keeping and William the Conqueror's victory at the Battle of Hastings. It's in surprisingly good shape today. The Tapestry (which is really embroidery, not tapestry) hung at one time inside the Bayeux Cathedral, which we visited later the same day. I can't find a picture of this online, but in the Tapestry museum they had an artist's rendering of what the Tapestry would have looked like hanging inside the nave of the Cathedral. The museum was small but well done, and even though we had museum overload by this point, we were impressed with the display.

After the Tapestry, we walked over to the Cathedral, which we had only seen from the outside. Portions of the Cathedral survive from the 1000s, which blows my mind. But it's also in really good shape (and a working church), and the Gothic portions and stained glass from the 1800s are really beautiful. I tried to go into the crypt--which is one of the parts of the church that survives from William the Conqueror's time--but the mold really aggravated my allergies.  The Bayeux Cathedral is an amazing structure.

By the time we saw the Cathedral, we were hungry. We stopped by breakfast location #1 and had some lunch, and then we spent the rest of the afternoon napping and reading. I was so exhausted by that point, and I felt like I had a bit of historical whiplash from jumping between WWII and medieval history so much. We decided to rest up for the remainder of the day, because E and I were catching a train to Paris in the morning.

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