Visitors' Reviews
Normandy Gite Reviews

The Bayeux Tapestry

The tapestry relates the story of the events leading up to the Battle of Hastings in 1066, the death of Harold Godwinson the King, and the conquest of England by the Normans under William Duke of Normandy. Le Bec Hellouin is closely tied to this story because of the importance of the abbey at this time - many of the street and place names in Le Bec reflect this close linkage. The story of Harold being killed by an arrow in his eye is thought to be apocryphal - Harold is probably the horse-rider in the panel which shows this death.

A museum has been built in Bayeux specifically to house the 70m long tapestry. Despite its great length, the tapestry is only about 50cm high - these odd dimensions make it a very difficult piece to display except in custom-built environment. Its great age and delicate nature require that the display environment is very carefully controlled. Tickets are timed and the duration of your visit is controlled.

Although the tapestry was commissioned by a Frenchman - probably Bishop Odo (William's half-brother), it was probably made in England - the latin texts hint at anglo-saxon origins and many of the vegetable dyes used are typical of English work at the time. The idea that the tapestry might be of English origin is somewhat controversial in France.

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