Bayeux is a commune in the Calvados département, in Normandy in northwestern France.
Bayeux is the home of the Bayeux Tapestry, one of the oldest surviving complete tapestries in the world.
Bayeux is a sub-préfecture
of Calvados. It is the seat of the arrondissement of Bayeux and of the canton of Bayeux.
Bayeux is located just a few kilometres from the coast of the English Channel
, and between the city of Caen
to the east and the base of the Cotentin Peninsula
to the west. The River Aure
runs through the town of Bayeux.
The area around Bayeux is called the Bessin
which was a province
of France until the French Revolution
. The name of the town and of its region come from the Celtic
tribe of Bajocasses
who inhabited the area.
During the Second World War
Bayeux was one of the first French towns to be liberated during the Battle of Normandy
, and on 16 June 1944
General Charles de Gaulle
made his first important speech on liberated French soil in Bayeux. The buildings in Bayeux were virtually untouched during the Battle of Normandy as the German forces defending the town were pulled away to help defend Caen
. The town hosts the largest British war cemetery in France from the Second World War.
The River Aure
flows through Bayeux and affords scenic views from a number of locations. The Aure river has relatively high turbidity
and its brownish water is moderate in velocity due to the slight gradient of the watercourse, although the narrow channel in locations like Bayeux centre engenders higher surface velocities; pH
levels have been measured at 8.35 in the centre of Bayeux near the Bayeux Tapestry
Museum and electrical conductivity
of the waters have tested at 37 micro-siemens per centimetre. Turbidity
has been measured at 13 centimetres by the Secchi disc
method. At this reference location of Bayeux centre, summer flows are typically in the range of 50 cubic feet per second.
Bayeux is a major tourist attraction, best known to British and French visitors for the Bayeux tapestry
, made to commemorate the Norman conquest
of England in 1066
. The tapestry is believed to have been woven in England
. It is displayed in a museum in the town centre. The large Norman
-Romanesque Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Bayeux
, consecrated in 1077
, was the original home of the tapestry.
The Jardin botanique de Bayeux is a botanical garden dating from 1864.
Bishops of Bayeux
Bayeux was the birthplace of:
- The inhabitants of Bayeux are called Bayeusains /bajøˑsɛ̃/ or Bajocasses /bajokas/.
- The communauté de communes Bayeux Intercom has a population (2004) of 28,366.