William the Conqueror and Me in Bayeux


My friend Donna, whose blog My Itchy Travel Feet talks about Baby Boomer adventure travel,  hosts my description of a visit to Bayeux, France. I am sharing some pictures here, but see the article for more details.

Outside the Bayeux Tapestry Museum, a (reproduction) viking ship sits beached in the courtyard.

Viking ship in courtyard of Bayeux Tapestry Museum

We saw the 1000-year-old Bayeux Tapestry.

Painted copy of the Tapestry, showing Norman (Viking) Ships
Reproduction of a scene from Bayeux Tapestry at the Museum

The Bayeux Cathedral next door was built by order of William the Conqueror’s brother, Odon, who also figured in the tapestry’s story, as a fighting Bishop.

Interior of the Bayeux Cathedral of Notre Dame

We visited with a needlework artist who recreates scenes from the Bayeux Tapestry (which is actually an embroidery) at her Bayeux Broderie shop next door to the Tapestry Museum.

Chantal James at work on Bayeux Tapestry reproduction

After wandering through the narrow streets of stone buildings, we ducked into a small atmospheric restaurant, La Rapiere and discovered authentic Norman cuisine.

La Rapiere restaurant
Quail salad at La Rapiere
Strawberry pastry at La Rapiere
Guest Room at La Chenevière

We ended the day at La Chenevière, a chateau in the now peaceful countryside. It once served as headquarters for German–then British officers doing World War II.

All pictures are property of Vera Marie Badertscher and should not be reproduced without permission. We stayed at La Chenevière as guests of the hotel, and the Bayeux Tourism Office treated us to lunch at La Rapiere.

Have you been to Bayeux? What is your favorite thing about Bayeux? About Normandy? Remember, you can learn more about our trip to Normandy by reading my post at My Itchy Travel Feet about our visit to Bayeux, France.

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About Vera Marie Badertscher

A freelance writer who loves to travel. When she is not traveling she is reading about travel. When she is not reading or traveling, she is sharing with the readers of A Traveler's Library, or recreating her family's past at Ancestors In Aprons . She has written for Reel Life With Jane, Life is a Trip and other websites. Also co-author of a biography, Quincy Tahoma, The Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist. Contact Vera Marie by e-mail.

18 thoughts on “William the Conqueror and Me in Bayeux

  1. Vera,
    Nice post on Bayeux. I took my mom there a few years ago for her 70th birthday. Did you notice Haley’s Comet in the tapestry?

  2. Wow, your photos are taking me back to my high school exchange trip… gotta go pull out the photo album. I doubt we ate as well as you did on our travels, though!

      1. In France – they practically eat anything which provides protein and then add delicious sauces!!The vegetables fresh from those wonderful French markets — and the lovely tasty crusty bread not to mention a cheese for each day of the year or possibly more —
        The French take their food very seriously and always eat well – even in the poorest of families.
        Good for them – we all should do the same!!
        Take me back there — any time –!!

  3. Sven and I went to Bayeux. That whole period fascinates me, the idea of the Normands, ie men from the north, ie. vikings, had conquered that part of France. When we were in Bayeux, we saw the tapestry and ate crepes at a restaurant similar to the one you chose from the outside. I liked the image of the fellow with the arrow in his eye.

    1. Ooooo, blood thirsty, aren’t you? What gets me is that with all the graphic violence, and some porn in there, the speculation now is that the tapestry was made by a bunch of nuns. Well!!

      1. oh, well, speaking as someone who has family members who have chosen to become monks and nuns — they are people who’ve chosen a certain discipline of life, y’know. still people. the blood thirsty wasn’t so graphic back then as it seems to us now, and I’ve heard the porn explained as illustrating a regional legend, so I doubt either of those would’ve been out of bounds for religious of the time to work on.

        I was thinking, though, that current scholarship has the tapestry being made in England by artisans there? who could’ve been nuns, of course.

        1. Kerry: They told me when I was there that the latest research–by an American–determined the tapestry had been embroidered in France instead of England, and they suspect it was a convent not far from Bayeux, which would make sense. However, there still are the faction that insists it was made in England. So the research goes on.

          1. sure, that’s one of the best things about history. I like the Viking boat too — they just discovered a big batch of Viking atifacts near where I usually stay in Ireland, and I can easily imagine such ships sailing up that bay, as working boats do today.

  4. I’m planning my third trip to Bayeux next spring. It’s one of my favorite towns in France. I love the Tapestry and especially the way it’s displayed, and the way the recorded narrative tells the story so well. But I think my favorite thing about Bayeux is that wonderful little stone-paved street that leads to the front door of the cathedral. It’s beautiful and quiet. Can photos be uploaded in comments? I don’t think so. Maybe I’ll email you one or two Vera!


    1. Libbie: No, you’re right, photos cannot be uploaded. I think it would create a Spam nightmare. I’d love to have you e–mail me whatever photos you have of Bayeux. Another solution is if you have them on Flickr or someplace like Picasa Web Albums, you can post a link and people can see them that way. I agree about the stone-paved street, but all of the old part of Bayeux is so evocative, isn’t it?

  5. For me, it is the whole unravelling story of William’s visit to conquer Britain and the little details in the tapestry that make the story so real for times so far past. Also the fact that the colours and the tapestry itself have survived so well for almost 1000 years. There probably aren’t many such tableau around the world that have survived everything that time and history tends to throw up.

  6. enjoyed these photos, and your post over at My Itchy Travel Feet as well. glad you had a good experience in Bayeux, hope to read more of your trip in future posts.

    1. I really loved the quail salad. Ken, on the other hand, can’t get the adorable Gamble’s quail that gossip in our back yard out of his mind. So he refuses to eat quail, no matter how many times I tell him that it isn’t Gamble’s quail that are on the menu!! The quail meat is delicate and just a tiny bit sweet.

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