[bahy-yoo; Fr. ba-yœ]
Bayeux, town (1990 pop. 15,106), Calvados dept., N France, in Normandy, near the English Channel. It is a farm and communications center, noted for its lace industry. A Roman town and episcopal see from the 4th cent., it was burned (1105) by Henry I of England. Sections of its Romanesque church withstood the fire and form a part of the remarkable Gothic cathedral built for the most part in the 13th cent. The town is particularly famous for its museum containing the Bayeux tapestry. In World War II, Bayeux was the first French city liberated by the Allies (June 8, 1944).

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.

Natural features

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 include:


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.


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