We were excited to visit the Tapestry Museum when we first read about it in guide books. However, after spending some beautiful days in WWII headspace, it seemed out of place in our itinerary. None of us were expecting to be so impressed with the enormity (224.3 ft long!) and beauty of the embroidered cloth that is housed in a small yet well designed museum in Bayeux. One of the more modern examples of museum architecture we’d seen thus far with attention to detail in signage, lighting and relevant temporary exhibits. The tapestry, which is not an actual tapestry depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England in addition to the events of the invasion itself.
I didn’t know much about it, considering that medieval cloth hasn’t cracked the top ten on my “this is awesome” list, but I was very much impressed. It had the same effect as reading a literary epic poem–there was so much depth and richness to the story, the characters and all of the symbolic extras that made it truly epic. It just had that flavor to it. My favorite was the laughing horses. When England is invaded in order to bring justice to the rightful king, everyone knows that they are on a holy quest from God. As the horses disembark from the boat to invade the land, you can see that they are laughing, smiling and skipping in anticipation. I loved it. Very much like when Achilles dies his horses cry (or is it when Patroclus dies?) Man, those medievals sure love their ordered universe. Even the horses know what’s right and wrong.
I thought this was pretty neat. Old grafitti. I don’t know who Lanchon was, but in 1719 (or 49) he was being a bit of a jerk.