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Bayeux, France: The Perfect Base for Visiting Normandy

Updated on March 12, 2017
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Traveling has always been one of my passions. It exposes us to new cultures, experiences, and makes the world a better, more tolerant place.

The Notre Dame Cathedral of Bayeux
The Notre Dame Cathedral of Bayeux | Source

If you are planning a visit to the D-Day beaches along the coast of Normandy you will have a few options available to you for how to go about it. Many visitors simply make a daytrip from Paris on the train. This involves taking an early departure from Paris to either Caen or Bayeux, having your tour guide meet you at the train station, and reversing the entire process at the end of the day. While this is certainly doable, it makes for a very long and tiring day. The train from Paris to Bayeux is over two hours. While there are a few direct trains to Bayeux most of the early departures require a transfer in Caen. Check the train schedule as it changes depending on the time of year.

We decided that we wanted to spend some time in Normandy so we chose a different itinerary that allowed us to spend a few nights in the charming town of Bayeux. Located just a few miles from the coast of Normandy it makes the ideal base location and is actually a very interesting place in its own right. We took an early train from Paris to Caen, picked up a rental car and drove to Bayeux where we spent two nights at Le Manoir Sainte Victoire, a wonderful B&B located in the heart of Bayeux.

This afforded us plenty of time to tour Bayeux, followed by an entire day touring the D-Day landing sites, followed by a daytrip to see the magnificent Mont Saint-Michel. Looking back I think our decision was the right one for us. Bayeux is a wonderful community and has a couple of must see sites that were fascinating. And our trip to see Mont Saint-Michel was certainly one of the highlights of our visit to France.

The center of Bayuex with the cathedral to the right
The center of Bayuex with the cathedral to the right | Source

Bayeux

The community of Bayeux sits just four miles from the coast of Normandy and is on the Paris-Caen-Cherbourg rail line, which makes getting there fairly painless. While we hopped off the train in Caen to pick-up a rental car you can take the train all the way to Bayeux from Paris.

The current population of Bayeux is approximately 13,500 and the town center is fairly compact and very walkable. Bayeux can trace its roots back to the 1st century BC and this means that there is an abundance of history here. From the Viking raids of the 9th century, to the Hundred Years’ War, to its role in World War II, Bayeux has managed survive it all.

Bayeux
Bayeux | Source

Today, Bayeux is a picturesque community that draws historians, tourists and World War II Veterans from all over the world to see the D-Day beaches, the Bayeux Cathedral, and the world famous Bayeux Tapestry. There is also the Bayeux War Cemetery and it is the largest British cemetery in France from World War II containing the graves of almost 4,000 British soldiers.

Bayeux - Straight out of the Middle Ages
Bayeux - Straight out of the Middle Ages | Source
Bayeux Cathedral
Bayeux Cathedral | Source

Bayeux Cathedral

In Bayeux itself the center piece of the community is without-a-doubt the magnificent Cathedral Notre-Dame de Bayeux. Bishop Odo of Conteville consecrated this Norman-Romanesque-Gothic shrine in July of 1077 with his half-brother and King of England, William the Conqueror present. The cathedral has survived for over 900 years including countless wars and conflicts and was at one time the home of the world famous Bayeux Tapestry. With its towering central spire that peaks at 95 meters the cathedral is visible from anywhere in town and is an imposing structure. Be sure to check out the gargoyles staring down at you on the exterior.

The Bell of Peace and Liberty.  This new bell was created to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Allied Landing in Normandy.
The Bell of Peace and Liberty. This new bell was created to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Allied Landing in Normandy. | Source

Inside the cathedral there are a few memorials to World War II including the new liberty bell, which was on display during our visit. The touching personal notes left by the families of those who helped to liberate Bayuex is a constant reminder of the sacrifices made here. Bayeux is located in what was the Gold Beach Sector during the allied invasion and was assigned to the British forces.

Interestingly, Bayeux is also touted as the first town to be liberated in France, as is Sainte-Mere-Eglise, and was done so without much of a fight from the Germans who retreated to defend Caen further to the east. The Siege of Caen was a different story and lasted for two months, much longer than planned and was the site of an incredible number of casualties on both sides. Unfortunately most of Caen was leveled by allied bombing including its cathedral.

Tributes to those who helped to liberate Bayeux
Tributes to those who helped to liberate Bayeux | Source

As you venture around the inside of the church be sure to head under the main altar where the crypt is located. There are some well-preserved frescoes here from the 15th century in addition to a number of tombs. It’s also somewhat creepy down here, dark with low ceilings, but certainly interesting and not to be missed. Legend has it that during the D-Day invasion the people of Bayeux gathered in the crypt for safety fearing the allies would bomb the town. The church also has some beautiful 14th century stained glass windows, which have managed to survive for centuries.

Crypt of the Bayeux Cathedral
Crypt of the Bayeux Cathedral | Source

Cathedral visitor information:

Hours:

  • Jan 1 – Mar 3: 8:30am - 5:00pm
  • Apr 1 – Jun 30: 8:30am - 6:00pm
  • July 1 – Sept 30: 8:30am - 7:00pm
  • Oct 1 – Dec 31: 8:30am - 6:00pm

Fees:

  • Entry is free
  • Guided tours available at 3:00pm.
  • Adults 4 euro
  • Under age 15 Free

Tapestry Museum
Tapestry Museum | Source

Bayeux Tapestry

The Bayeux Tapestry is one of the longest and certainly one of the most famous tapestries in the world. It is on display in the Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux after spending many years on display in the Bayeux Cathedral. Measuring an incredible 230 feet long it tells the story of the events that led to the Norman conquest of England in 1066. The tapestry is made up of fifty eight scenes and depicts Harold’s (King of England) betrayal of William the Conqueror and the Battle of Hastings where Harold is killed.

The tapestry was commissioned in the 1070’s by William’s half-brother, Bishop Odo, and made in England presumably by Queen Matilda, the wife of William, and her court. It was completed sometime around 1077 just in time for the dedication of the Bayeux Cathedral where it was displayed.

Scene from the Bayeux Tapestry
Scene from the Bayeux Tapestry | Source
Scene from the Bayeux Tapestry showing the Battle of Hastings.
Scene from the Bayeux Tapestry showing the Battle of Hastings. | Source

The Bayeux Tapestry, which is on display in Museum of the Bayeux Tapestry, is known as a tapestry but is actually an embroidery.

Having survived for over 900 years the Bayeux Tapestry was nearly lost on numerous occasions. The fact that it has survived intact for so long is truly a miracle. Taken to Paris by the Germans during World War II and destined to be shipped off to Berlin the tapestry somehow wound up at the Louvre when the French regained control of Paris. The tapestry was put on display for a time in the Louvre before being returned to its rightful home in Bayeux.

Your tour of the Tapestry Museum will include an audio guide that describes in detail each of the panels that make up the tapestry. It’s an incredible story that takes visitors from the broken promise of Harold, who assumes the throne of England following the death of King Edward, to William the Conqueror invading England and defeating Harold at the Battle of Hastings. It’s fascinating history and the tapestry has recorded it all for humanity.

Tapestry Museum visitor information:

Hours:

  • March 1 – Oct 31: 9am to 6:30pm (7pm May to Aug)
  • Nov 1 – Feb 28: 9:30am to 12:30pm and 2pm to 6pm

Fees:

  • Full rate: 9 euro (includes audio guide)
  • Students: 4 euro
  • Under age 10: free

The Airborne Museum in Sainte-Mere-Eglise
The Airborne Museum in Sainte-Mere-Eglise | Source

Visiting D-Day Sites

Whether you are utilizing a tour guide or exploring on your own, Bayeux is situated perfectly for visiting the D-Day landing beaches of Normandy. The five beaches are spread out over a fifty mile stretch of the coast and Bayeux sits perfectly just about in the middle of the five landing zones. In addition to visiting the beaches there are a number of interesting museums, cemeteries and villages in Normandy that all have a story to tell.

show route and directions
A markerBayeux, France -
14400 Bayeux, France
get directions

B markerSainte-Mere-Eglise -
Sainte-Mère-Église, France
get directions

C markerUtah Beach, Normandy -
Utah Beach, 50480 Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, France
get directions

D markerOmaha Beach, Normandy -
Omaha Beach, France
get directions

E markerGold Beach, Normandy -
Gold Beach, 14114 Ver-sur-Mer, France
get directions

F markerJuno Beach, Normandy -
Juno Beach, France
get directions

G markerSword Beach, Normandy -
Sword Beach, France
get directions

The church in Angoville-au-Plain
The church in Angoville-au-Plain | Source
Utah Beach
Utah Beach | Source
German Bunker at Utah Beach
German Bunker at Utah Beach | Source

Our guide started our day in Normandy with a visit to the small, unassuming church in the center of Angoville-au-Plain. It was here that US medics Robert Wright and Kenneth Moore performed one of the truly miraculous stories of D-Day. For three days they turned the small church here into a first aid station and saved countless lives against incredible odds.

Our next stop was a visit to Utah Beach and a walk to visit the many German bunkers that still peer out into the English Channel. It's fascinating to be able to climb on and into these bunkers and one can only wonder what the German troops were thinking as the sun rose on June 6th, 1944 to the site of thousands of Allied ships.

It was a short drive from Utah Beach to our next stop in Sainte-Mere-Eglise, which was one of the first, if not the first town liberated on D-Day. This community was made famous in the movie “The Longest Day” for its reenactment of paratrooper John Steele getting caught in the church spire. Sainte-Mere-Eglise is also the home of the Airborne Museum, which is a fitting tribute to the paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division who dropped here in the early morning hours of June 6, 1944.

The church in Saint-Mere-Eglise where US paratrooper John Steele was caught in the church steeple.  If you look closely you can see a parachute and dummy marking the spot.
The church in Saint-Mere-Eglise where US paratrooper John Steele was caught in the church steeple. If you look closely you can see a parachute and dummy marking the spot. | Source
The American Cemetery above Omaha Beach
The American Cemetery above Omaha Beach | Source

After a quick lunch break in Sainte-Mere-Eglise we headed to Omaha Beach with a stop enroute at the German Cemetery in LaCambe. It was interesting to see how the different cemeteries are viewed here. The grey tombstones in the German Cemetery are a stark contrast to the white marble and meticulously maintained American Cemetery above Omaha Beach.

We concluded our day at Omaha Beach and the American Military Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer. It was a long day but extremely rewarding and educational. It certainly gives one reason to pause and gives thanks for all that we have today. Thankfully there were young men and women who were willing to sacrifice everything for what was right and just.

From Colleville-sur-Mer it was a short ride back to Bayeux. In fifteen minutes we were back at Manoire Saint Victoire deciding where to eat dinner, which was preferable to spending the next two plus hours on the train heading back to Paris. If you have the time in your itinerary to spend a few days here in Normandy consider it a viable option.

The American Cemetery above Omaha Beach
The American Cemetery above Omaha Beach | Source

Because of the distances involved in getting around Normandy you will find that it is impossible to see everything in just one day. We spent over nine hours with our guide and were able to see Sainte-Mere-Eglise including the Airborne Museum, the church of Angoville-au-Plain with its fascinating story, Utah Beach, Omaha Beach and both the American and German Cemeteries. We knew we would not have time to visit the British and Canadian Beaches so we didn't try. Visitors can plan their day around their particular areas of interest but don’t rush around trying to see everything in a single day because it just won’t happen. We dedicated one entire day to seeing World War II sites and arranged ahead of time with our guide what we wanted to see.

A much different scene today at Utah Beach
A much different scene today at Utah Beach | Source

Interesting D-Day Facts:

  • The code name of D-Day was "Operation Overlord".
  • The naval phase of D-Day was code named "Operation Neptune".
  • D-Day was the largest naval amphibious invasion ever conducted and involved almost 7,000 ships including 4,126 landing craft.
  • 24,000 paratroopers were dropped behind the German lines beginning late on June 5th and continuing into the early morning of June 6th.
  • At 3 am on June 6th, 1,900 allied bombers began dropping 7 million pounds of bombs on the German defenses.
  • At 5 am a naval bombardment of the German defenses started and lasted until 6:25 am.
  • At 6:31 am the first US troops went ashore followed by the British and Canadian troops an hour later.
  • US troops landed at Utah and Omaha Beach, the British at Gold and Sword Beach and the Canadians at Juno Beach.
  • There are 9,387 graves in the American Military Cemetery above Omaha Beach. Every one of them faces west toward America.
  • There are 21,500 German graves in the German Cemetery at LaCambe.

The American Cemetery above Omaha Beach
The American Cemetery above Omaha Beach | Source

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have

striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you...

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

— Dwight D. Eisenhower speech to troops on the eve of D-Day

Mont Saint-Michel

Any time spent in Normandy is sure to be a moving and educational experience. There is a lot to see and limiting your visit to just a few of the landing sites means you are missing out on an enormous opportunity. Looking back I think that choosing Bayeux as a base was an excellent decision and while it is inevitable that you will look back on your visit here as too short, it allowed us ample time to see Bayeux, Mont Saint-Michel and a full day visiting D-Day sites.

Not to ignore Mont Saint-Michel, this one of a kind site is located just an hour and fifteen minutes from Bayeux. While still technically in Normandy it is situated near the border of Brittany in southern Normandy. This Romanesque-Gothic shrine rises majestically above the bay and draws visitors and pilgrims from all over the world. With one of the highest and fastest tides in all of Europe the rocky island quickly transforms from sitting in the midst of muddy flats to being engulfed by the bay. All I can say about Mont Saint-Michel is that it is unlike anything I have seen in my travels and was absolutely worth the effort to visit.

Mont Sainte-Michel
Mont Sainte-Michel | Source
show route and directions
A markerMont Saint-Michel -
Mont Saint-Michel, France
get directions

B markerBayeux, France -
14400 Bayeux, France
get directions

I hope you enjoyed this brief tour of Bayeux and Normandy. If your travels are taking you to this region of France consider spending a few nights in the area to really experience everything that Normandy has to offer. While the D-Day landing sites are certainly a must see there are plenty of other fascinating communities, museums, churches, cemeteries and one of a kind destinations waiting for you. A special thank you to our guide for the day, Guillaume Marie of Normandy D-Day Tours, whose knowledge and passion for World War II history made for an unforgettable day.

Au Revoir!

Guillaume Marie - Normandy D-Day Tours

Our wonderful guide for the day, Guillaume Marie.
Our wonderful guide for the day, Guillaume Marie. | Source

© 2015 Bill De Giulio

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    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 2 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Diane. Oh my! DeGiulio is such a unique name I would imagine that it's very possible that we are related somehow? My family is from the Rhode Island area and my paternal grandparents immigrated from Italy, a small town called Teano. Do you know any of your family history? Feel free to send me an e-mail, bdegiulio@gmail.com.

      You will love Bayeux and Normandy, so much history. Bayeux is very quaint and very walkable. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay there and it's an easy ride to the Normandy sites.

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      Diane DeGiulio Goffin 2 months ago

      Thank you for the information Bill! We are planning a trip in May, 2017 and decided to stay in Bayeux rather than Caen based on the information you provided. Also, my maiden name was DeGiulio! Unusual because it is De instead of Di, we may be some way related? I am from Chicago.

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 4 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi there bu. Thank you, glad it helped. Hope you enjoyed your time in Normandy.

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      bu 4 months ago

      Great work!! Really helped. :)

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 6 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Alun. Thank you. When planning our trip to Normandy we initially considered doing a day trip from Paris. Once I started researching the area Bayeux jumped out at me as a place to definitely spend a few days. I highly recommend a visit. It really is very close to the Normandy Beaches and has plenty to see in it's own right. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit. Thanks for stopping by, I trust things are going well in retirement?

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 6 months ago from Essex, UK

      Very interesting Bill. All in the UK would be aware of the Bayeux Tapestry as a record of arguably the single event which had the most significant impact on our history, and that alone would be a good reason for visiting the town. But I did not realise Bayeux was so close to the Normandy Beaches. The poignancy of these sites, plus the Cathedral and other attractions in a medieval city all make it a place which seems very well worth while visiting for a few days.

      I see from some of the other comments that you got Hub Of The Day for this Bill. Sad that award has now been retired - it was a nice way to bring other HubPage members'' attention to a quality article such as this one. Alun

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 11 months ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you Stella. It is a beautiful part of France and so much history. Seeing the D-day sites was pretty incredible. If you ever get the opportunity to visit jump at the chance. Thanks for stopping by.

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 11 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Great hub with beautiful photos. I would love to visit here. I have read so much on these different places I know it is a good experience to see it all up close.

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 18 months ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you Suzie. I really appreciate your nice comments and it's so nice to see you here. I miss your wonderful literary masterpieces. Do you think you will start to write again here? I hope all is well with you. Any adventures coming up? Move to Italy?

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      Suzanne Ridgeway 18 months ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Just stopping by again to wish you a massive CONGRATS on your award for this amazing hub my friend!! So delighted you won the most awesome hub for this wonderful piece in your usual top notch style. SO proud of you Bill XX

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      Arun Dev 18 months ago from United Countries of the World

      I've heard about Normandy landings only through PC games. This was very interesting to read. Congrats on Most Awesome Hub award, Bill!

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 18 months ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you Phyllis. I really appreciate your nice comments. Our visit to Normandy and Bayeux was a wonderful journey. What happened there over seventy years ago should never be forgotten. Thanks again, have a wonderful day.

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      Bill De Giulio 18 months ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you Linda. Congratulations to you also on your Iris Hub winning a Hubbie. Your work is always top notch and so educational. Have a great day.

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      Bill De Giulio 18 months ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you Faith. This was certainly unexpected. I'm honored and humbled. There are so many talented writers here. And a big congrats to you also for winning a Hubbie Award. Thanks so much for the comment, have a wonderful day.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 18 months ago from High desert of Nevada.

      A hearty congratulations, Bill, for the Hubbie award on this amazing hub. I am so happy for you!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 18 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Congratulations on the Hub of the Day and the Hubbie award, Bill! You certainly deserve both of these awards.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 18 months ago from southern USA

      Congratulations, Bill, on this Hub winning a 2015 Hubbie Award! Well-deserved!

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 19 months ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you Emese. We were so glad that we decided to spend a few nights in Bayeux. It's a fascinating little community and so close to the Normandy Beaches.

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      EmeseRéka 19 months ago from The Desert

      Wonderful hub! Makes me want to go visit Bayeaux. Loved your pictures.

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      jake 19 months ago

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      jake 19 months ago

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 19 months ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you Audrey. Have a great day.

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 19 months ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you Linda. Glad you enjoyed the tour. Have a great week.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 19 months ago from California

      What a great hub! Congrats!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 19 months ago from Orlando, FL

      Thank you for the virtual visit...Congrats with your HOTD!

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 19 months ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you Au fait. Bayeux was the perfect spot to stay for visiting Normandy. We really enjoyed our time there. Thanks for stopping by, have a great week.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 19 months ago from North Texas

      Great photos! Congratulations on HOTD!

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 19 months ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you Sally. I had a lot of fun putting this one together. It brought back some great memories. Have a great Sunday.

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 19 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Thelma. Thank you. I'm glad to hear that you learned a lot from the hub, that is always my goal, to inform and educate on different places that I've been fortunate to visit. Thanks again, have a great day.

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 19 months ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you Bill. A wonderful Sunday to you also.

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      Sally Gulbrandsen 19 months ago from Norfolk

      Congratulations on the HOTD - very well deserved.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 19 months ago from Germany

      Congratulations on the HOTD Bill! Well done. This is a very historical, useful and a very informative hub. I learned a lot from reading this. How I wish I can visit that place one day. Thanks for sharing.

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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Congrats on the HOTD, Bill. It's good to see good writing rewarded.

      Happy Sunday my friend.

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      Bill De Giulio 19 months ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you Flourish. I can't explain it? Spent over three years here without a single HOTD and now in the span of a couple of months four have come my way. Thank you , enjoy the rest of the weekend.

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      Bill De Giulio 19 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi mactavers. Thank you. I did not think that the Tapestry was something that I would enjoy but I must admit I found it fascinating. Hearing the story panel by panel was a wonderful history lesson and when you see how long the tapestry goes on for you realize what an amazing piece of history it is. As for the American Military Cemetery words can really describe how overwhelming it is. Thank you again and have a great weekend.

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 19 months ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you Heidi. We really enjoyed our time in Bayeaux and Normandy. It's a fascinating corner of France. Have a great weekend.

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 19 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Kathleen. I did not go into the church in Sainte-Mere-Eglise but we did spend some time in the church in Angoville-au-Plain and they had stained glass windows of paratroopers there also. What a sight that must have been to witness American senior citizens singing the national anthem at the American Military Cemetery. It certainly is a moving and emotional place. The white crosses markings the graves seem to go on forever and really hits home just how many young men made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Every American should visit Normandy to truly understand that we should never take our freedoms for granted.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 19 months ago from USA

      You're on fire with these HOTDs! Congratulations on a terrific hub! Well deserved!

    • mactavers profile image

      mactavers 19 months ago

      We were there last month and loved it. I would have loved to have spent more time at the tapestry. The American cemetery was overwhelming and we laid a wreath there.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 19 months ago from Chicago Area

      Another stunningly beautiful hub and another well deserved Hub of the Day! Congrats and have a wonderful weekend!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 19 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Don't know if you got to go inside the church at Sainte-Mere-Eglise , but the stain glass windows are not of angels - they are U.S. paratroopers.

      This is a great guide to an amazing glimpse of history. The day we were at the American Military Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, a group of American senior citizens stood at the base of one of the monuments and sang the U.S. national anthem. I'll never forget it.

      Great job. Well deserving of HOD!

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 19 months ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you Kristen.

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 19 months ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks Alastar. It's close to the landing beaches and has a lot to see making it a perfect place to stay while visiting Normandy.

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 19 months ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks Mike. They certainly do. It's amazing some of these buildings survived WWII.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 19 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Bill, since I commented on this post before, congrats on HOTD! Well done!

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 19 months ago from North Carolina

      It is at that.

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      mikeydcarroll67 19 months ago

      Some of those places seem to have the ability to survive no matter what. Definitely adds to the character of the city!

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 19 months ago from High desert of Nevada.

      And therein lies your legacy, Randy, for future generations.

      I am thrilled Bill wrote this article. It made me realized my own patriotism and kindled that spark in you that is akin to the 4th of July.

      I am off to read Le Manoir Sainte Victoire Review, Bayeux, France. Thanks again, Bill.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 19 months ago from Southern Georgia

      I am indeed very proud of my family veterans, Phyllis. I have ancestors who've fought in every major war including the Revolution. Patriotism is in my veins.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 19 months ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Randy, Bill is right - Wow! A family of heroes. You can return there for your Dad and pass on the sights and stories to younger ones. We are grateful for men like your Dad and Uncles.

      Bill, I believe there truly is something powerful there for all of us because of the men and women who put themselves out there - it is a bond that draws us to walk spiritually with them. Here I go crying again....

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 19 months ago from Massachusetts

      Randy, you come from a family full of Heroes. Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge, wow. Cherish his stories and pass them along to future generations. You will not regret visiting Normandy.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 19 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes Bill, he had lots of tales about his wartime experience. He also fought in the Battle of the Bulge among other important conflicts of the war. He had two brothers who also fought in the war, one in the South Pacific and the other in the Aleutians. I do so hope to visit Normandy before I die. Thanks again for the great research on this hub. :)

      And no, Dad never got to return there even though he often talked about going back.

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 19 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Randy. Wow. What stories your dad must have had. Did he ever get the chance to return to Normandy after the war? Certainly it will appear much different today than it did on the morning of June 6, 1944. My thanks to your dad for helping to end the Nazi reign. And thank you for stopping by to comment. Hopefully you get the chance to visit Omaha Beach someday to see where your dad came ashore.

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 19 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Phyllis. Thank you. I am humbled by your comments. For many years I also felt drawn to this corner of France and knew I had to visit. I am a history buff and feel very strongly that I owe a great debt to the young men who stormed those beaches and dropped from planes in the middle of the night. I am certain that life for us today would be much different had D-Day not been a success. I thank you for your comments and hope someday that you get the opportunity to visit this corner of the world.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 19 months ago from Southern Georgia

      I've always wanted to visit France and especially Omaha Beach where my dad came ashore on D-Day. Unfortunately he didn't have the time to see the sights much because he was in Patton's 3rd Army and was busy chasing the Germans back to their country.

      I'll definitely consult this hub if ever get the chance to visit Normandy. Great work, Bill. :)

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 19 months ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi Bill. I am absolutely awestruck with the information and photos you have in this hub. I feel as though I am ready to pack up and move to Bayeux - If only such a wish could happen. I feel very drawn to the area and could not help but feel tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. You have done an awesome job on this hub. You are a fantastic tour guide through your travel hubs and I so enjoy reading them.

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      Bill De Giulio 19 months ago from Massachusetts

      Merci Mary. This really was a great trip and Normandy was incredible. The history is amazing and something we all should be thankful for. Thank God for the generation of young men and women who had the right stuff to storm those beaches.

      Thank you for the vote, share, etc. Have a great weekend.

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      Mary Craig 19 months ago from New York

      Merci Beaucoup! Another great travelogue. Your history and pictures add so much to theis beautiful place. How I wish I could visit, but this is the next best thing. Thank you.

      Voted all but funny, and shared.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      My pleasure, Bill. I'm glad you had a nice trip. You too!

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      Bill De Giulio 21 months ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you Kristen. We really enjoyed our time in Normandy and Bayeux. It's quite humbling to see the cemeteries and beaches where so many young men made the ultimate sacrafice. Have a great weekend.

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      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Bill, this was an excellent hub from you with some historical D-Day highlights from the World War I. I love your pics and your travelogue descriptions on what you saw. Voted up!

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      Bill De Giulio 22 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Sheila. Thank you. It's certainly an amazing place with loads of history. We really enjoyed our time in Bayeux and Normandy and hope to return someday. Glad you enjoyed the tour, enjoy the long holiday weekend.

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      Sheila Brown 22 months ago from Southern Oklahoma

      What an amazing place to visit! I love you pictures of all the beautiful buildings. What a long and interesting history here! Great job, thank you for sharing your trip with us!

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      Bill De Giulio 22 months ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you Molly. That photo is one of my favorites also. This corner of France is full of history and amazing sites. If you've never been add it to your list. Paris isn't too bad either :) . Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

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      Molly Layton 22 months ago from Alberta

      These pictures are so beautiful. My favourite is the black and white image of the American Cemetery above Omaha Beach. Your writing is beautiful too.

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      Bill De Giulio 22 months ago from Massachusetts

      Suzie my friend. Thank you. I knew you would be familiar with the history of the tapestry. It's not something that is readily known here but I found it fascinating. We really enjoyed Bayeux and Normandy, just a very interesting area. So nice to see you here. Many thanks for the comments, vote, etc.. Have a wonderful day.

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      Suzanne Ridgeway 22 months ago from Dublin, Ireland

      What a fascinating journey you brought us on Bill. While I know of the famous tapestry and the Battle of Hastings is etched on my memory from history class, I did not know many of the facts surrounding Bayeux. The architecture is breathtaking there, very medieval like. Thanks so much for another superbly written piece with stunning photos. Up, interesting, and all the rest my friend!

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      Bill De Giulio 22 months ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you Audrey. Not only is there a lot of history to this corner of France but it's just a beautiful area. We really enjoyed our time in Bayeux and touring Normandy. Keep it on your list, you won't regret it. Thanks for stopping by, have a great day.

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      Audrey Howitt 22 months ago from California

      Beautiful hub! This is on my list of places to visit!

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      Bill De Giulio 22 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Peggy. Thank you. First of all my hats off to your dad for being a member of the "greatest generation". If not for brave young men and women like your dad who knows what life would be like today. It would be hard to visit these beaches and the American Cemetery without feeling something. This fifty mile stretch of the French Coast is the reason why we enjoy the freedom we have today. Thank you for share, pin, etc.. Have a great day.

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      Bill De Giulio 22 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Flourish. Thank you. We considered doing a day trip but there was just too much to see in Normandy. Looking back it worked out great and we have such great memories of Bayeux and MSM. It also,helped that we found a great place to stay in Bayeux which just added to th experience. Thanks so much for the pin, share, etc.. Have a great day.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 22 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Your photos as always Bill are fantastic. My dad was a paratrooper during WWII and was in France. If he was still alive, he would have enjoyed seeing this. We have some friends who have visited those beaches in Normandy. It is emotional even viewing the photos. It must be even more so seeing those sites in person. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Up votes and happy to share, tweet and pin.

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      FlourishAnyway 22 months ago from USA

      Fantastic hub, Bill. There are so many choices when visiting France that often a tourist doesn't know what to do, but you provide great advice and a terrific rationale with beautiful photos for seeing Normandy this way. My husband and father took the exhausting trip from Paris and back in a day but not by train -- by bus!!! I'm sharing, pinning, and G+ing this excellent hub.

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      Bill De Giulio 22 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Linda. Thank you. We really enjoyed our time in Normandy. There is so much to see and so much history there. Glad you enjoyed the tour, have a wonderful day.

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      Linda Crampton 22 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is another very interesting hub, Bill. The photos and descriptions are a great combination. As always, I'd love to visit the sites that you describe in person. I enjoyed the virtual tour very much.

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      Bill De Giulio 22 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Akriti. Thank you. Glad you enjoyed the tour. Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a great day.

    • Akriti Mattu profile image

      Akriti Mattu 22 months ago from Shimla, India

      Another great post by you. Was a pleasure reading it. The pictures are really good. The quote in the end is awesome :)

      Voted up.

    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 22 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Anne. Bayeux is a fascinating place and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there. WWII will forever be a part of Bayeux and Normandy. Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful day.

    • Anne Harrison profile image

      Anne Harrison 22 months ago from Australia

      We spent a rainy few days in Bayeau but it still cast its magical spell on us. A fascinating place - and great food - yet the scars of the war are still too obvious.

      Thanks for sharing, voted up

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      Bill De Giulio 22 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. That struck me also. The allies did not bomb indiscriminently and they managed to avoid destroying many historic buildings. The exception to this in Normandy was Caen, much of which was leveled. This was due to the Germans making a determined stand there and it took over 2 months for the allies to finally liberate the city.

      Words and pictures really can't reflect the emotion that the American Cemetery and Memorial at Omaha Beach portrays. The white marble crosses seem to go on as far as the eye can see. It sure makes one appreciate what we have today and the sacrifices that these young men and women made. Glad you enjoyed the tour, have a great weekend.

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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I got goosebumps just looking at the pictures of the memorial at Normandy....it's amazing to me so much incredible architecture survived the bombings of WW2. As a society we are very lucky that so many great buildings are still here for us to enjoy.

      Great tour, Bill. Thank you!

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