A Travellerspoint blog

The Bayeux Embroidery

by Abby

sunny 14 °C
View Koning/Zemliak Family Europe 2012/2013 on KZFamily's travel map.

Bayeux Cathedral

Bayeux Cathedral

Today was our first full day out of the UK for a long time. We are now in France and I have to say I do really miss being able to speak English and have everyone understand it. Hannah is now our translator again, but because we've been gone so long, even she is a little rusty.

Today we went out to see Bayeux, mostly to go and see the Bayeux Tapestry (which, fun fact, isn't a tapestry at all.. it's an embroidery). When we found a parking spot the weather was so glorious that we decided to just walk around the town for a little before heading into the museum, so that we could be out in the sun while it lasted. But soon the weather turned on us, but thankfully no rain. We went to a large church in the area that had been commissioned by Odo, who was the half brother of William the Conqueror (previously known as William the Bastard because he was an illegitimate child).

Once out of the church we wandered around the streets a little, bought a baguette, and then returned to our car for lunch. We sat out in the sun that had appeared again and ate crackers, cheese, baguette, and (of course) chocolate.

Bayeux

Bayeux

From here we were off to the tapestry museum. Believe it or not I actually found the tapestry very interesting, especially because the audio-guide was so detailed. Earlier in England my dad and I had been to Battle Abbey, which is where the battle took place, so the two of us already had a little knowledge about it. The tapestry (embroidery!) is the story of how William the Conqueror became the king of England. The story begins with Edward, William's cousin, who was the king of England at the time. Realizing that he was near the end of his life he wanted to make sure that William would be the next king, as Edward had no children of his own. Calling upon his brother-in-law, Harold, Edward asked him to sail to Normandy to bring the news to William. But when Harold sailed out to Normandy, he and his soldiers realized they had sailed to a different land, Brittanie. Harold and his army were taken captive. One of William's spies eavesdropped on the guard's conversations about ransom and went off to tell William the news. William came with his soldiers and were able to settle an agreement, and brought Harold and his men to safety with them. Harold told William about Edward's plan for William to be king, and then went back to tell Edward the news of his journey. Before he left he swore an oath of allegiance to William. When Harold returned, Edward had already died. Going back on his word to William he made himself king instead. When William heard this he brought his army to attack Harold. The battle between them lasted 14 hours and resulted in Harold being killed by an arrow to the eye. William was given the title William the Conqueror, and was also made king of England.

This ended our day in Bayeux, and we went home, stopping for a short grocery shop along the way. In other news, my "Harry Potter Heaven" blog has been featured on the front page of Travellers Point... so I guess that officially means I am better than the rest of my family.

Posted by KZFamily 12:55 Archived in France Tagged france normandy bayeux

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Comments

Thanks for the great writing - this is quite a story.

by Harvey Roosma

Glad to see you're so humble Abby.

I wondered what the difference was between a tapestry and an embroidery so I looked it up:

Tapestry is a heavy fabric with a design woven into it.

Embroidery involves working designs on cloth with laid or stitched threads.

by Jane1

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