10-29 The Bayeux Tapestry and Bayeu Museum of the Battle of Normandy

No visit to Bayeux, Normandy would be complete without a visit to see the Bayeux Tapestry. This Tapestry is 70 meters long and 50 centimeters high. The Tapestry highlights the conflict over the throne of England between Harold, Anglo-Saxon King Edward’s son-in-law and Norman William the Conqueror, from 1064 until the end of the Battle of Hastings.

Edward the Confessor, King of England sends Harold to Normandy to tell William he is his heir.

The Tapestry begins with King Edward (the Confessor) of England realizing he does not have an Heir so he chooses William the Bastard to be his successor. King Edward sends Harold to Normandy to confirm to William that he will be Edward’s successor on the throne.

Details Coronation of Harold


However, at the death of Edward in 1066 Harold seizes the crown of England.



William sailing to England to do battle

In response, William and his troops cross the channel to fight Harold at the Battle of Hastings

Harold’s death – note the added death and destruction at the bottom of the panel.

where Harold killed and his troops defeated (slaughtered) in battle on October 14, 1066. William subsequently becomes King of England and Brittany. Normans were Viking descendants.




The entire display is behind glass with proper lighting and climate controlled. The Narration followed the numbers along the top of the Tapestry and was very well done.
Another shot of the display.














A segment of the Bayeux Tapestry depicting Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, rallying Duke William’s troops during the Battle of Hastings in 1066
Battle of Hastings
The messengers with guy, with portrayal of medieval agriculture in the border
Detail of some of the stem stitching and laid work.
Detail of Odo who was the brother of William and he had the Tapestry created. As a member of the church, he couldn’t kill people so he has a club – not a sword.
Odo became bishop of Bayeux and here he is represented in that role.







The detail of facial expressions, troop movement, horses, sailing ships, even the carnage of war is compelling.





















The history is embroidered on woven linen using wool threads colored in blues and greens with woad (and weld for green) and madder root for red and brownish purple. It is felt by art historians to represent Anglo-Saxon (not Norman) artistry of 1070. Since it was commissioned by a Norman cleric, the Anglo-Saxon version of the conflicts may have been omitted. Nuns probably did the embroidery work, rather than, legend suggests, Queen Maude and her ladies in waiting.

The “tapestry” has only recently been permanently housed for viewing. Previously, it was displayed in Bayeux Cathedral for festivals as a banner mounted around the sanctuary.

After lunch, we went to the Museum of the Battle of Normandy. This unique museum covers the preparation of D-Day to August 29th 1944. There was a lot of history, pictures historical information and material including weapons, radios, tanks, guns and lots of other information. It was interesting to learn about the composition of the various Allied Forces and how they were coordinated. I expect over the next day or two we will learn a lot more about this as we visit the actual landing beach sites.

And one more tank on display
Another tank on display
One of several tanks on display outside the entrance
Large anti aircraft gun
There were several displays of various guns and related items that would have been used by both sides in the battle.
One of hundreds of pictures on display.
Radio gear that would have been used.
A large transport truck on display

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