Bayeux & the Bayeux Tapestry
Drive to Bayeux, the former capital of the Bessin and the first French town to be liberated in World War II. Fortunately, Bayeux was not damaged during the war, for it is home to the Bayeux Tapestry which presents a unique records of the events of 1066, recording the rivalry between Harold and William to the conqueror and claim Norman victory. The Bayeux Tapestry is displayed in the William the Conqueror Center in an impressive 18th-century building—a seminary until 1970. Before the 18th century, this jewel of Romanesque Art was wrongly attributed to Queen Mathilda. The embroidery in colored wool on a piece of linen remains the most accurate and lively document to survive from the Middle Ages, providing detailed information on the clothes, ships, arms and general manners of the period. Discover the fine Norman Gothic Cathedral, which bears the marks of the many changes it has undergone over centuries. Of the original 11th-century Romanesque church, only the crypt and the lower part of the nave remain. During the 13th century Gothic period, a superb chancel and a Norman Gallery were added. Later additions included the building of side chapels along the aisles, frescoes, furniture and works of art. Some free time will be allowed so you can purchase lunch (at your own expense) and explore on your own before driving back to Cherbourg.
Inside church visit(s) may not be possible if religious services are being held.