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A 900 Year-Old Tapestry: The Bayeux Tapestry

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History can tell us so much if we just look for it. England has a long and diverse history to discover.

The Bayeux Tapestry

The Bayeux Tapestry

A scene from Bayeux Tapestry

A scene from Bayeux Tapestry

The Bayeux Cathedral Built to House the Bayeux Tapestry

The Bayeux Cathedral Built to House the Bayeux Tapestry

a-900-year-old-tapestry-the-bayeux-tapestry

History of the Famous Bayeux Tapestry

In the year 1077, Bishop Odo commissioned a tapestry to commemorate his half-brother, William, Duke of Normandy, and his victory over the Hastings battle and King Harold's death 1066. This allowed William to be crowned King of England in December 1066. Bishop Odo wanted it to be hung in his cathedral after completion.

This magnificent work of art has survived over 900 years, through the French Revolution and the Nazi invasion during WW II. It is truly a work of history and shows us so many historical facts. It shows us the armor of soldiers of the day, the weapons used, the trees, the animals, the castles, the ships, and the battles fought.

Although it is called a tapestry, it is really an embroidered piece of linen. Tapestry is a woven textile with the design woven into the fabric and created on a loom. The medieval period of embroidery consisted of four main stitches' the stem stitch, the chain stitch, the split stitch, and the laid work.

It is the longest piece of embroidery in the world. The tapestry is on display in Normandy, France.

The New Yorker Magazine 1944 and Article of the Bayeux Tapestry

The New Yorker Magazine 1944 and Article of the Bayeux Tapestry

Facts and Colors of The Bayeux Tapestry

Fortunately, the tapestry survived so many years, giving us the history of the times. Facts about the tapestry. It is believed to have been made in Canterbury, Kent, where a famous tapestry school was located.

  • It is 230 feet in length
  • There are 55 scenes of events.
  • There are 626 people.
  • There are 190horses
  • There are 35 dogs
  • There are over 5000 birds and animals.
  • There are 37 ships
  • There are 37 trees
  • There are 57 inscriptions.
  • In the borders are mythological figures of lions and dragons
  • The wool yarn colors used consist of five main colors: blue-green, light green, buff, blue-grey, and terracotta. There are places of dark blue, yellow, and dark green.
Battle Scene of Hastings

Battle Scene of Hastings

King Harold Swearing to Uphold Williams Claim to the Throne

King Harold Swearing to Uphold Williams Claim to the Throne

Battle of Hasting

Harold had sworn an oath to recognize William's claim to the throne. However, he later reneged on his oath, and it infuriated William. And William put together his army and met Harold's arm close to Hastings. Harold and his army were not well-armed nor properly ready for a battle. The battle started at 9 AM and was over by An arrow that had killed Harold to the eye, and William set off for London where in December 1066, he was crowned King of England.

Battle Scene

Battle Scene

Battle of Hastings

Battle of Hastings

Replicas of the Bayeux Tapestry

In 1885 a textile manufacturer, Thomas Wardle, and his wife organized 37 women to create and embroider a duplicate of the tapestry. It was completed in 1886 and is on display at the Reading Museum, Berkshire, England.

In 1996, John Ray Dugan, professor at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, after visiting the tapestry several times, decided to make a replica to share with the public. He was in the middle of working on his replica when tragedy struck his home. John's two sons, Andrew, 28, and Mark, 27, both drowned in April 1993. Dugan found it hard to concentrate on his teachings, and he was now consumed with grief and found it therapeutic to finish his tapestry. In the middle of his tapestry, he included a cross with April 1993 to honor his sons. His replica has been shown all across Canada and in the United States. John died March 2020, proud of his completed tapestry. It took Dugan ten years to complete his project.

It is interesting to note that Dugan's replica was shipped to Berlin to be used in the famous film Monument Men with George Clooney directing.

In 2014 a Danish Bayeux group completed their replica of the tapestry, and it is on display at the Borglum Abbey, Denmark. It took about fifteen years to finish the embroidery.

John "Ray" Dugan

John "Ray" Dugan

Borglum Abbey

Borglum Abbey

Comments

fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on February 20, 2021:

DDE, thank you for your visit, I sincerely appreciate it

fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on February 20, 2021:

DDE, thank you for your visit, I sincerely appreciate it

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 20, 2021:

Tapestry that old sounds incredible!

fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on February 18, 2021:

Rosina, thanks for your visit. It truly is a masterpiece of history.

Rosina S Khan on February 17, 2021:

The Bayeux Tapestry is truly interesting and so are its replicas. I enjoyed reading about its descriptions and history. Thank you for such a wonderful share, Fran.

fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on February 17, 2021:

Pamela, thank you so much for visiting. I agree, I'd love to see it in person. I hope with practice I can write articles as good as yours.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on February 17, 2021:

I would love to see this tapestry, Fran. It is beautiful, and it is amzing that it is 900 years old. I enjoyed reading the history of the tapestry. Thank you for sharing.

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