|département: 14, Calvados|
Bayeux is situated at an elevatio of 43 m on the river Aure in the département Calvados in Normandy, about 7 km from the coast of the English Channel and about 30 km north-west of Normandy's capital, Caen. The municipality has a population of about 13,000 (2018).
Founded as a Gallo-Roman settlement in the 1st century BC under the name Augustodurum, Bayeux is the capital of the former territory of the Baiocasses people of Gaul. In the 2nd century AD it was referred to as Noemagus Biducassium. An important city in Normandy, Bayeux was part of the coastal defence of the Roman Empire against the pirates of the region, and a Roman legion was stationed there. The city was largely destroyed during the Viking raids of the late 9th century but was rebuilt in the early 10th century. in the 12th century, Bayeux was wealthy enough to purchase a municipal charter. The area around Bayeux is called the Bessin, which was the bailiwick of the province Normandy until the French Revolution. During World War II, Bayeux was the first city of the Battle of Normandy to be liberated, and on 16 June 1944 General Charles de Gaulle made the first of two major speeches in Bayeux in which he made clear that France sided with the Allies. The buildings in Bayeux were virtually untouched during the Battle of Normandy, the German forces being fully involved in defending Caen from the Allies.
Bayeux Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Bayeux) [left, no. 4031] is the seat of the Bishop of
Bayeux and Lisieux and was probably the original home of the Bayeux Tapestry, still preserved nearby. The site is an ancient one and was once occupied by
Roman sanctuaries. The present cathedral, built in Norman-Romanesque style, was first consecrated in 1077. Following serious damage to the cathedral in the
12th century, the cathedral was rebuilt in Gothic style which is most notable in the crossing tower, transepts and east end. However, despite the
crossing tower having been started in the 15th century, it was not completed until the 19th century.