In 1792, the French Revolutionary government adopted the symbol of the Liberty Tree. Its roots were based on a similar idea that developed in the United States during the American Revolution. Liberty trees were soon planted all around Bayeux. In 1797, similar smaller trees were replaced by a lone Liberty Tree that still stands today in Place de la Liberte, next to the Bayeux Cathedral. The survival of the tree is remarkable considering that similar trees in other cities were destroyed by counter-revolutionaries.
Today, the tree is the main attraction at the Place de la Liberte square. During the summer, a light and sound show utilizes the tree as its 360-degree screen. The show begins at nightfall and continues until midnight. During the light show, the cathedral also becomes part of the display. The theme of the show focuses on peace and freedom.