Bayeux Cathedral 14
During a busy school trip to the battlefields of France and Belgium I was given the opportunity to spend a wonderful half hour at Notre Dame Cathedral in Bayeux. This classic example of Norman Gothic architecture dates mainly to the 13th Century but there are many vestiges remaining of the ancient Romanesque church which preceded it. In the short time there I was entranced by the many grotesques, gargoyles, Green Men, Green Beasts, stained glass and medieval wall paintings. Without a tripod I did my best to capture some of these features which included a delightful Green Man and a wonderful corner piece of interlinked dragons, both high up on the south side of the nave. Above the door immediately to the left on entering the cathedral there is a tympanum bearing a highly intricate and beautifully carved beast with one head and two bodies. In an interesting variation of the Green Man/Beast, the tails of the beast transform into lush foliage which surrounds the whole carving. Treasures in the dimly-lit Romanesque crypt include intricately carved column capitals, including one with several Green Men. The crypt had been sealed up and forgotten for over a century. On rediscovery in the 15th century, it was further decorated with paintings of angels playing musical instruments and other paintings in the various niches. I hope, one day, to be able to revisit the crypt better equipped than I was on this trip!