This small village on the river Aure turned into a major local city during the Roman era.
In the Dark ages and later Middle Ages as Christianity was expanding, the city became the seat of the bishop so a cathedral and many monasteries were built in and around Bayeux.
Odon, the most famous of the Bishops of Bayeux, lived in the 11th century, took part of the battle of Hastings in 1066 and was actually the half-brother of William the Conqueror. Like many Norman Lords and church leaders of the time he became very wealthy and decided to use his wealth to build a new cathedral. He also decided that people should know the reason why William, his half brother and Duke of Normandy, had decided to invade England in 1066. Thus he commissioned a piece of embroidery to tell the story and also to decorate his cathedral. This embroidery was named “the tale of the Conquest” and was made in the 11th century but is better known today as the Bayeux Tapestry. Despite the years and it’s age of nearly one thousand years, the 225 foot long medieval depiction is in almost perfect condition and well merits a look.
The town is one of the few places in Normandy that was unaffected by the bombing and artillery shelling of World War Two and suffered virtually no damage during the war.