Normandy & William the Conqueror
July 5, 2019
William the Conqueror was the Duke of Normandy (a Viking region outside of France) who became the first Norman King of England. Born, raised and as ruler of the area, his mark is dominant in the coastal region of Normandy.
After a good night sleep and a fantastic French breakfast at our B&B, Les Villas d’Arromanches, we drove back to Bayeux to the Cathedral Notre Dame de Bayeux. This beautiful Cathedral is steeped in William the Conqueror history. The location where he was married and crowned himself King of England it is also the home of the Domesday book. The Domesday book was commissioned by William as a list of all the estates that belong to Normandy after his taking of the English crown. Close by the Cathedral is the Bayeux Tapestry. Once displayed at the Bayeux Cathedral, the tapestry is a 224 foot long embroidered cloth telling the story of William’s conquest of England. The tapestry is displayed along with a personal audio track that tells the events in the story and points out some unique features of the tapestry. The amount of detail and commitment that went into the creation was fantastic to see first hand.
After Bayeux we drove inland to Falaise, to Chateau de Guilliame, the birth home and original castle of William the Conqueror. The building has been restored and maintained and is a fantastic insight into exploring an 11th Century Norman castle. Seeing the castle exterior and walking the grounds was worth the 30 minute drive from Caen. Note that Ipads are provided to tour the interior of the castle and was geared towards the school aged child. If you are interested in Medieval architecture or passionate about William the Conqueror, it is a valuable site to visit.
We then drove back to Caen for lunch and a stop at the Cathedral d’homme, commissioned by William the Conqueror and where he is buried. The Cathedal is a beautiful medieval church and the tomb of William is quite impressive. If your visit to Normandy is solely WWII based, L’Abbey de Homme, next door has a very informative display on events leading up to D-Day.