Wednesday 10 October 2001


Bayeux is a "sous prefecture " or sub- county town of Calvados with a population of 15000. The inhabitants are called Bayeusins or Bajocasses.

The name Bajocasses comes from the galic tribe who had their capital at Bayeux. The romans rebaptised the town Augustodurum. A bishopric was founded in 360 by St Exuperé.

The town was surrounded by fortifications which didn’t stop Henri Beauclerc burning it down in 1105.
Bayeux was occupied by the English during the 100 years war and sacked by the Protestants in the XVI century.
By the time of the French revolution Bayeux was a quite provincial town full of clerics and civil servants.
Bayeux was the first important town to be liberated in 1944 so it escaped being damaged in the battle of Normandy. At the entrance to the town comming from Caen, a statue of Eisenhower has been erected.

image 227 x 496

Over the centuries Bayeux has acquired many styles of architecture. Old bayeux was built of wood until it was forbidden in the XVII century. A few picturesque houses still survive. such as the tourist bureau and the Hotel D’Argouges. Most of the large houses are in stone from the XVIII century.

The interesting part of Bayeux is situated around the imposing mass of the cathedral. The museum lies at its base and the tapestry is 200 metres away. Old Bayeux is contained in the area between Notre dame, la place du Gen De Gaule and the tourist office.
Bayeux is known throughout the world for it’s Tapestry

The Cathedral was built on the site of previous sanctuaries. The opening was held on the 14 July 1077 when the tapestry was displayed for the first time.
Throughout the centuries the cathedral has had many alterations but he main outline has stayed intact. The crypt ,the two western towers, and the columns of the aisle and transept are from the XI century.
In 1105 Henri Beauclerc burnt the town, and the top part of the church was destroyed. In the XII c the roman columns were dressed up as gothic columns and the arcade of the knave was doubled up. The south aisle was rebuilt swell as the choir.
In the XIII c the top of the knave was rebuilt, the porch refurbished and the chapels were added.
In 1676 a fire destroyed the lead roof of the patriarchal tower. It wasn’t repaired untill the XVIII c. A stone dome toped by a lantern was erected. This construction proved to be too heavy for the columns and was at risk of collapsing. But an Engineer came up with a rescue plan. They lifted up the dome allowing the columns to be rebuilt. A second level was added crowned by a copper dome.

From the PARKING we can see the south flank with its flying buttresses, the spires and balustrades which date from the XIIs.
The FRESQUE on the SOUTH door shows the story of Thomas Becket. We can see the meeting with Northampton, the return to England, his murder, and the king repenting on his tomb.
Entering by the west side the two towers date from the original XI c building. The porch is was rebuilt in the XIII c. The tryptique and the rosary of the North door relate the washing of the feet, the last supper the Judas kiss and carrying the cross. The south door is the last judgement.
On the tops of the columns of the roman arches we can see a bearded man , a dragon, a cat, a snake. Oriental material, Saxon emblems and Celtic.
Over this roman base are high gothic windows. Above the 5th arch on the left is the previous organ .
Croisillon droit painting of Thomas Beckett.
Central roman columns refurbished in the gothic style in the XIII c then rebuilt in the XIX c to keep up the dome.
The crypt dates from the XI c. It was filled up in the XII or XIIIc and rediscovered in 1412.
TURNING right outside the church we find a large Plane tree. The liberty tree planted in 1797.
MUSEE Baron Gerard. Porcelain from Rouen and Bayeux. And Lace

Ex Seminary 1693
Hotel dieu Augustine nunery

Rue Nesmond - Hotel Dieu Augustin monks XVIIc

Rue Forestier ( by cathedral ) Hotel du Doyen - XVIIIc mansion XVIIc Gate - Museum Lace and Religious art - During the revolution , the Bishop was forced to take up residence here.
Cathedral - Consecrated in 1077 by Wiliam . Towers remain of Xic – Main exterior is XIIc gothic. - Tower added Xvc first stage - XIXc second stage and dome added. Tower saved from collapse by Flachard. Propped up dome and rebuilt the columns.

image 531 x 399

South Door (bottom – up)
(right to left) Thomas with Henry II - Thomas says he must put god before the king.
(left to right) Crosses the channel rides to Canterbury – assasinated by the Barons
Henry on the tomb of Thomas

South door of Facade - Last judgement
(Bottom – up )
Hell and the damned
The elected queuing for paradise
Christ on the throne
(bottom – up)
Tympan – Medallion to the left showing Saint Gerbold
Calery with balustrade
Stain glass windo<
10 statues of Bishops
North door
(bottom – up)
Washing of feet
Judas kiss 49 lashes - Jesus with the cross and his mother
Christ on the throne

Rue Bienvenue - Named after a Bishop that was chased from The town then asked to come back when there was an epidemic.
Adam and Eve house Xvc Unicorn – Mermaid – Venus

image 354 x 503

Place General De Gaulle Monument to visit of deGaulle.

Rue Gen de Dais
Mansions of XVIIc built when The moat was filled in.
Hotel Tour du Pin N° 14 XVIIIc Style Louis XVI
Hotel Castilly N° 9 – 10 XVIIIc Hotel Castilly Style Louis XV – Renaisance (Involvement of France in American war of independance.caused miltary training ground to be developped at Bayeaux. Brought more people and wave of building)

Rue St Malo
N° 4 Hotel D’Argouges Helf timbered XV XVIc Town house of family with mansion at Vaux sur Aure
Rue Franche
N°5 Hotel Rubercy XV XVIc Towers (end of Hundred years war)
N° 7 Hotel Crepelière in courtyard XVIIIc
N° 13 Hotel Manvieu XVIc

Place de la liberty
Bishops palace – Liberty tree - 10 germinal An V - 30 mars 1797

Le calendrier républicain
Ce calendrier trouve son origine dans le mouvement de déchristianisation déclenché par la Révolution française. Il fut institué par décret de la Convention le 24 octobre 1793; son principal artisan fut Gilbert Romme, aidé par quelques astronomes. L’année y est composée de 12 mois de 30 jours divisés en 3 décades (qui remplacent la semaine) auxquels on ajoute 5 ou 6 jours complémentaires pour que l’année ait une durée moyenne de 365,25 jours. Les noms des mois, dus au poète Fabre d’Églantine, sont:
vendémiaire, brumaire, frimaire pour les trois premiers, qui sont des mois d’automne,
nivôse, pluviôse, ventôse pour les mois d’hiver,
germinal, floréal, prairial pour les mois de printemps, et
messidor, thermidor, fructidor pour les mois d’été. Suivent les jours complémentaires, ou sans-culottides.
Dans chaque décade, les jours sont appelés primidi, duodi, tridi, quartidi, quintidi, sextidi, septidi, octidi, nonidi, décadi, et, au lieu du nom d’un saint comme dans le calendrier grégorien, il leur est affecté le nom d’un produit agricole, d’une plante ou d’un outil. Le début de l’année est fixé au minuit, compté en temps vrai de l’Observatoire de Paris, qui précède l’instant de l’équinoxe d’automne. L’an I de l’ère républicaine débuta le 22 septembre 1792. Étant donné la définition du début de l’année, il fallait déterminer par le calcul quand commençait l’année suivante pour savoir si elle contenait 365 ou 366 jours (année sextile), ce qui n’arrivait pas tous les 4 ans comme on pouvait le penser. Le calendrier républicain resta en vigueur jusqu’en décembre 1805; il fut aboli par Napoléon, qui restaura le calendrier grégorien, le 1er janvier 1806.

Rue St Martin
Angle rue Cuisinier – Rue Bienvenue
Half timbered house Ex Tourist Office
N° 6 Maison de Cadran - Sun dial
Rue St Jean
N° 53 Hotel Crossant Xvc XVIIc. In courtyard tower staircase

Rue Teinturiers
Stone houses – Two half timbered houses
Aure Wharf
view on fish market – Cathedral Flour mill Arch bridge

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