Results 1-8of 8 Reviews
S36 6UF, England, United Kingdom
May 14, 2013
Perth, Scotland, United Kingdom
May 2, 2011
From journal Normandy 2011
May 20, 2006
The tapestry is believed to have been "commissioned" by Bishop Odo of Bayeux who was William’s half brother. The work was carried out by the women of Kent and it isn’t clear if they participated in the work willingly but it seems certain that the original home for the tapestry was in the cathedral. So this masterpiece would have been blessed by the Bishop and then displayed in the newly consecrated Cathedral.The tapestry is now housed in the Centre Guillaume-le-Conquerant, an old seminary built in 1693. The tour of the tapestry is best done with individual headsets and we found that the "pace" of the tour was a little brisk, but there is an awful lot of it to see and we were happy to take in its enormity and wonder at how well it has worn over the years. The main themes of this medieval cartoon are divided into thirteen separate scenes. It starts by setting the scene and shows the meeting up of Harold and King Edward the Confessor in Westminster Palace in 1064. Don’t expect to see the Battle of Hastings in the early scenes in the early part of the work as the tapestry goes on to set the scene and identify some of the motivation for the invasion of England by William. It shows Harold journeying to France, his capture and imprisonment and, before his release, his apparent support of William in a "swearing in ceremony". This was an apparent affirmation that William would be rightfully crowned as King of England when Edward, his cousin, died.However on the death of Edward Harold accepts the Crown (both the funeral and coronation ceremony are ably depicted on the tapestry) and William is, to put it mildly a "wee bit upset". So he plans to re-possess his rightful position as King of England by taking on the usurper and the next two scenes show his careful preparation and the building of a navy to make the crossing to English shores. The landings and the building of a fort precede the graphic battle scene with limbs a-flying, culminating with the famous arrow in Harold’s eye and his death scene. This is a fascinatingly unique piece of history that I’m really pleased to have seen.
From journal Bayeaux and its environs
by Wildcat Dianne
July 15, 2003
My classmates and I arrived in Bayeux after touring the Omaha Beach Memorial and the museum at Arromanches.
The Bayeux Tapestry was created in England in the 11th century by the order of William the Conqueror''s brother Odo, who was the Bishop of Bayeux at the time of the Norman conquest of England (1066).
The Bayeux Tapestry is not a tapestry, it is a work of crewel, which is several colors of thread embroidered on linen to create a scene. The Bayeux Tapestry has 73 scenes of the Battle of Hastings and is about 230'' long, but one end is missing, so it must have been a lot longer when completed.
Six years later, the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves came out, and I went to see it. I recognized the Bayeux Tapestry in the opening credits and said "I was there!"
The William the Conquerer Center is open daily and is located in an old church building. It is worth a couple of hours of your time to see the tapestry and read about its history.
From journal Western France's Precious Gems
December 13, 2002
An audioguide is a smart investment here, for two reasons. First, it gives you the explanation of the scenes and brings your attention to details you would never have noticed (like English soldiers have mustaches while Normand invaders have shaved heads). Second, you get to step in front of everybody who doesn't have an audioguide, which is essential if you want to see anything in the crowd of tourists. If you don't intend to use an audioguide, pay attention to the explanations given in a room showing a copy of the tapestry. It's a lot of information to swallow and it's unlikly you'll remember half of it when you'll be in front of the real tapestry.
From journal In the heart of Normandy
Todmorden, England, United Kingdom
June 10, 2002
The sight is worth all the crowds, but if you can plan to go at a slightly less crowded time than we did, the headphone narrative will make more sense because you might be seeing what is being described.
From journal Normandy, neighbouring and once conquering
March 9, 2001
Yes, it's impressive that the tapestry has lasted for so long. Yes, it's impressive that it's enormously long in size. However, the presentation was pretty poor. You first walk through corridors with a mock tapestry that tells the story in English and explains what's going on. Definitely helpful, but the presentation seemed second rate. Also, the "movie" that was shown was very dated and didn't seem very professional.
However, even with all this, you should still go because the tapestry is such a famous artifact. Keep your expectations low, and if you're dying to do something else, don't feel bad about skipping the tapestry.
From journal A Weekend in Bayeux (Normandy)
October 27, 2000
The museum has a lot of panels describing each section of the tapestry, before you get to the tapestry itself. If you have the time, this is worthwhile, but it is quite time-consuming to read all the writeups. We went quickly through this, because there is also a movie which gives you a great overview of what you will see. Then, you get to the tapestry itself, which is maybe two feet high and hundreds of feet long! (The comet is about in the middle...and was considered an omen at the time it appeared just before the Battle of Hastings.)
I do wish I had had more time to spend here, but there was a lot more to see and do in Normandy, and we had to be on our way. It is well worth the visit, though, even if it has to be quick. I do suspect the lines can get very long at times, as it is a slow process when people stop to look at every image--so plan accordingly.
From journal Normandy, Joan of Arc, William the Conqueror, & D-