Sunday, May 17, 2015

Travel France: Bayeux Tapestry, Cathedral, Norman-Saxon History

Cecilia with William the Conqueror

Cathedral of Bayeux

Dear Readers,
Be patient with the following history. It will explain my excitement at what we saw today.

Before taking this trip to France, I happened to see a documentary about the history of England, which included information about William the Conqueror. The film explained that it was the marriage of the Saxon King Aethelred to the Norman Queen Emma that made possible the Norman claim to the Saxon throne. The Saxon King Edward appointed the Norman William his successor. However the Saxon Harold decided to take the crown for himself.  William fought Harold to get what he believed was his right.

Gargoyle near center of the picture

The Norman invasion of England in 1066 was depicted in a long embroidered piece (approximately 68 meters) called the Bayeux Tapestry. The tapestry is over a thousand years old, and it has scenes that tell the story of this battle. This was used to tell the illiterate people the story of the Norman conquest.

Water wheel

Today we visited the Bayeux Tapestry in Bayeux, and I was fascinated at this story-telling in needlework on linen cloth.  The piece has 56 panels with various scenes showing, for example,the cutting down of trees as part of the war-preparations of William. Woolen thread was used for the stitchery.  And just imagine that this piece is over a thousand years old!

We were not allowed to take pictures of the tapestry, and rightfully so because the flash would destroy the cloth. My pictures are of the displays at the museum and one from Wikipedia.

In Bayeux, we also visited the Cathedral, which is a really nice church, huge, graceful, with good energy.  If you look carefully, you can see a gargoyle in the third picture.

It was a gorgeous day today -- no rain at all, and everything brilliant and beautiful!

In fact, we also visited the Military sites in Bayeux and at the Normandy Beaches (World War II, D-Day) but I will cover that another day.

Thanks for following these short writeups about our current visit to France.

Read also
Dog in a Restaurant - Bistro des Artistes, Honfleur, France
Pilgrimage to Therese of Lisieux Sites
Tags: Bayeux, tapestry, needlework, history, Saxon, Norman, English, William, Conqueror, Harold

This is all for now,

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