The Bayeux tapestry, also known as the “Queen Mathilde tapestry”, and more recently “Telle du Conquest” (for “Conquest canvas”) is an embroidery (formerly “needlepoint tapestry”) of the 11th century registered since 2007 in the Memory of the World Register by UNESCO.
It describes facts ranging from the end of the reign of King Edward the Confessor of England in 1064 to the Battle of Hastings in 1066, whose issue was the throne of England, challenged to Harold Godwinson by William, Duke of Normandy. The key events of the battle, the outcome of which determined the Norman conquest of England, are detailed, but almost half of the scenes relate facts prior to the invasion itself. It seems to have been commissioned by Odon de Bayeux, Guillaume’s half-brother, and carried out in the years following the conquest.
Although very favourable to William the Conqueror, to the point of sometimes being considered as a propaganda work, it has an invaluable documentary value for the knowledge of the 11th century in Normandy and England. It provides information on clothing, castles, ships and living conditions of that period. As such, it is one of the few examples of profane Romanesque art.
Preserved until the end of the 18th century in the treasury of Bayeux Cathedral, it narrowly escaped destruction during the French Revolution. It is now presented to the public at the Guillaume le Conquérant1 centre, which is entirely dedicated to him.
Bayeux Tapestry Museum
Museum housing a 69 m medieval tapestry on the conquest of England by William the Conqueror.
Address: 13B Rue de Nesmond, 14400 Bayeux
Telephone: +33 2 31 51 51 25 50