"Notre Dame (of course) of Bayeux" Cathedrale Notre Dame Tip by rexvaughan

Cathedrale Notre Dame, Bayeux: 27 reviews and 86 photos

One of my favorite stories about this cathedral is the encounter of William of Normandy and Harold Godwinson a couple of years before William’s conquest of England. I understand that poor Harold had been left in Normandy due to a shipwreck and was the “guest” of William. Both were after the throne of England upon the anticipated death of Edward the Confessor. William agreed to let Harold return to England only after the latter swore to uphold William’s claim to the throne. So, here in Bayeux Cathedral, Harold put one hand on the bible and another on a chest of holy relics and swore to do so. Of course as soon as he got back to England, he dismissed the oath as invalid due to coercion and had himself crowned king. The next meeting of the two was at Hastings and the rest, as they say, is history.
Apart from its historic significance the cathedral is an exquisite example of Norman/Romanesque architecture. It is a very imposing structure towering over the town and has stunningly bright stained glass and amazing statuary both inside and out. It was here that the Tapestry was orinally housed and displayed. While it was dedicated in 1077, like virtually every ancient cathedral, this one has antecedents that date back a few centuries and has undergone changes, but the present one I understand is pretty much as it was in the 13th Century. Under the altar is a crypt which I understand is all that is left of the original church. It has some pretty well preserved frescoes above some old stones covering, I guess, venerated folk from the past centuries.

Directions: Don't have an address but just look above the housetops and you can see it.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written May 2, 2012
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rexvaughan

“Travel is fatal to prejudice - Mark Twain”

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