Fodor's Expert Review Bayeux Tapestry
Essentially a 225-foot-long embroidered scroll stitched in 1067, the Bayeux Tapestry, known in French as the Tapisserie de la Reine Mathilde (Queen Matilda's Tapestry), depicts, in 58 comic strip–type scenes, the epic story of William of Normandy's conquest of England, narrating Will's trials and victory over his cousin Harold, culminating in the Battle of Hastings on October 14, 1066. The tapestry was probably commissioned from Saxon embroiderers by the count of Kent—who was also the bishop of Bayeux—to be displayed in his newly built Cathédrale Notre-Dame. Despite its age, the tapestry is in remarkably good condition; the extremely detailed, often homey scenes provide an unequaled record of the clothes, weapons, ships, and lifestyles of the day. It's showcased in the Musée de la Tapisserie (Tapestry Museum); free audio guides let you listen to an English commentary about the tapestry.