Bayeux is synonymous with the famous Bayeux Tapestry, which represents a unique record of the events leading up to William the Conqueror's invasion of England in 1066.
The area around Bayeux is called the Bessin, which was the bailiwick of the province Normandy until the French Revolution. During the Second World War, Bayeux was the first city of the Battle of Normandy to be liberated, and on 16 June 1944 General Charles de Gaulle made the first of two major speeches in Bayeux in which he made clear that France sided with the Allies. The buildings in Bayeux were virtually untouched during the Battle of Normandy, the German forces being fully involved in defending Caen from the Allies.
© ATOUT FRANCE/CDT Calvados
While in Bayeux is would be a pity to miss the
Musée-Mémorial de la Bataille de Normandie ((Boulevard Fabian Ware, 14402 Bayeux. Tel: 02 31 51 46 90; www.mairie-bayeux.fr.
Open: Oct-Apr 1000-1230, 1400-1800; May-Sep 0930-1830; Admission: Adult: €7,
child: €4), situated on the line that separated
the British and American sectors in 1944. The museum recalls the dramatic
events of that year.