The spires thrust high into the skies over Normandy — asserting themselves proudly over the smaller stone or timber and plaster buildings all around. There are far too many ancient cathedrals and churches to count in France, but this one had a special air about it that broadcast its importance.
Bayeux Cathedral -- Notre Dame de Bayeux exterior
Ornate roofline and spires of the Bayeux Cathedral
The historic Bayeux Cathedral in Normandy, France
is such a beautiful building and has such a wonderful atmosphere that I thought it deserved a separate photo essay of its own. This was the original home of the Bayeux Tapestry, now housed in a separate museum a mere few blocks from the cathedral. It was consecrated by William the Conqueror,
also known as William, Duke of Normandy and King of England, on the 14th of July 1077 — a mere 11 years after the Norman conquest of England.
Heavily detailed exterior of the Bayeux Cathedral
This 11th-13th century masterpiece of architecture is astonishingly light and airy inside due to the number of windows which punctuate the deep stone walls. The ornamentation is simply beautiful, so I have included several photos of interesting details.
Interior of the Bayeux Cathedral
Quatrefoil detail in stone inside the Bayeux Cathedral
Ornate details on interior of Bayeux Cathedral
The Dragonslayer in a side chapel at the Bayeux Cathedral
The crypts have an energy all their own which is quite different from the hustle and bustle of the ‘upstairs’ main church. But occasionally when there are other people down in the crypts, some rather annoyingly ignoring the signs indicating that NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY is to be used, you simply have to wait for a few minutes for the clattering and shuffling in and out to cease.
Entry to the crypt from the side aisle of the Bayeux Cathedral
Frescos on arches in the crypt of the Bayeux Cathedral
Angel fresco on top of a column in the crypt of the Bayeux Cathedral
Then, in that tiny space of a moment or two, you can feel the energy shift back to an interesting state of otherworldliness and even the sound of your breath looms large. This is a very popular tourist site, even out of season, so you must purposefully snatch those moments of serenity whenever it is possible.
Mark absorbing the brief and fellow-tourist-free serenity of the crypt at Bayeux Cathedral
©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
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