The tiny town of Bayeux in France is remarkably descended upon by millions of tourists every single year, many with the sole purpose of visiting the town’s main attraction, the seventy meter long tapestry. There is quite a lot more to the town than just the tapestry however, which makes it a great place to visit, and to base your stay.
It’s in the heart of Normandy and was the first town which was liberated by the Allies during the D-Day invasion. Remarkably, it barely took any damage during World War II, and as a result a huge range of buildings through history still stand in the town to this day.
Getting to the town itself is pretty simple, and you can either fly to Paris, and get the train to Bayeux, or you can get the boat to Cherborg and get the train in from there instead. Customers wanting to get around Bayeux and the surrounding beaches and towns will find that hiring a car is their best option, and you can pick up cars from the centre of Bayeux when you book them online with us.
What to do when hiring a car in Bayeux.
Cathedrale Notre Dame
Listed above the tapestry on the best things to do on many websites, the Cathedral must be something special. Dating back to the gothic Norman times, the cathedral was built in the 13th century, and contains 11th century Romanesque towers and arches. In the 15th century a central tower was added, and the copper dome was an addition in the late 1800s. As with many of the cathedrals built in France you can see the difference in style of architecture throughout the years.
The Bayeux Tapestry
Misnamed according to many experts, the tapestry is actually made of linen cloth, embroidered with wool thread and is one of the most fascinating pieces of material artwork found anywhere in the world. Stretching over 70 meters, the cloth depicts 58 scenes which document the Norman conquest of England in 1066. You can also spot Halley’s comet, as well as a number of decapitated heads and flying limbs in the very graphic depiction of the final battle of Hastings, found near the end of the tapestry. Visitors can hire headsets in many different languages which talk you through the tapestry as you walk from one end to the other.
Bayeux War Cemetery
Despite being famous for its tapestry, the town found itself right in the middle of World War Two and the Bayeux war cemetery is actually the largest commonwealth cemetery in Normandy. Containing just short of 5000 graves, the cemetery is famous for containing bodies from 11 different nations including Germany. The cemetery is also home to the memorial monument for the 1807 commonwealth soldiers who died in battle, but whose bodies were never found, and the inscription in Latin along the top says, We, whom William once conquered, have now set free the conqueror’s native land.