The 10 Best Things to See in Bayeux


Bayeux: Centuries of History

Bayeux and I have not been the best of friends. Or at least the hospital and my family have gotten to know each other really well. After one summer where it seemed that everyone kept ending up in that hospital, Bayeux had left a not so good impression on me. So I was determined to go back, enjoy the city, and not make a trip to the hospital. Oh did I mention that I went for the 71st Anniversary of D-Day? And lets just say, I see its charm, I see its beauty, and I enjoyed its history. Ok Bayeux, we're cool now, I can add you to a favorite's list. So here are the top ten things to do in Bayeux (other than visit a hospital).

10. Participate in the D-Day Festival: ok so this would easily be my number one, but since it only happens once a year, I had to be a little realistic. All throughout the cities in Normandy, there are festivities to honor those who fought on June 6, 1944. Bayeux partakes in this festival and has some sort of parade. Though the best is to rent a car and go from city to city, as each one is timed after the other to allow this, but since most are not accessible by train, Bayeux and Carentan are the two places to go without a car.

Bayeux Cathedral
9. Lace Museum: Bayeux is known for its lace, so the museum right next to the cathedral showcases that craft. While staring at a bunch of lace isn't everyone's cup of tea, this museum has some of the best lace in France, so if you are interested, it's worth the stop.

8. Reporters Memorial: this unique memorial honors those who took it upon themselves to document war. It pays respect to those who lost their lives while filming, photographing, or writing about war. Since World War II, war has been heavily publicized and documented, and this walkway pays respects to those brave enough to follow the soldiers into war.

7. Liberation Memorial: one of the first speeches that De Gaulle made in Free France was in Bayeux. It became to the main city of liberated France, and today a memorial stands where De Gaulle made a speech, back in his homeland.

D-Day Celebrations
6. The Streets: the streets of Bayeux are much like the streets of many cities in Normandy. They're small, they're cute, and they are full of timber houses. In the main part of the city, there are plenty of restaurants and shops along the way. And don't forget the cobble stones to add to the cuteness.

5. The Canal: so Bayeux isn't know for its canal quite like Bruges, but the park near the canal is a great place to relax and enjoy nature. The canal itself is barely visible, but the parts that are visible are so well decorated that they just add to the city's charm.

4. British Cemetery: on the outskirts of the city is the British War Cemetery. Technically this land belongs to the British, but since it's in Bayeux, its an easy walk to pay respects to the people fallen for the Battle of Normandy. During the D-Day celebrations, many veterans go to this cemetery for a memorial service.

3. Museum of the Battle of Normandy: Normandy is full of museums like these, but this museum not only lays out the history of the Battle of Normandy but the central role that Bayeux played in this Battle.

Museum of the Battle of Normandy
2. Bayeux Cathedral: this cathedral is truly remarkable because while Bayeux was almost completely destroyed, the cathedral remained intact. This beautiful cathedral towers over the city and it can be seen from great distances outside the city, they are that big. Inside it has memorials to soldiers, beautiful ceilings, and some stained glass windows that are so vibrant in color.

1. Bayeux Tapestry: ok so my first experience with the tapestry wasn't that interesting. But when I went back with an open mind I fell in love. It tells the story of William the Conqueror and how he became king of England. The tapestry was made to tell the story to an illiterate population, but the audioguide really helps with explaining the pictures. It truly is remarkable.

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