"Reims" Reims by MM212

Reims Travel Guide: 306 reviews and 963 photos

Located north-east of Paris in the Champagne-Ardennes region, Reims is part of the fabric of French history. It was originally the Gallic settlement of Durocorter, which rose in importance in Roman times as Durocortorum, the capital of the province of Gallia Belgica. The city developed over a typical Roman grid plan with monumental temples and forums just as any other Roman city. After the Christianisation of the Empire, an important event in the history of France took place at the Cathedral of Reims: the bishop of the city, Rémi, baptised the first King of the Franks, Clovis I, upon his conversion from Arianism to the Roman Catholic orthodoxy in 496 AD, an act which ensured that the whole of France also enter Catholicism. Bishop Rémi, who died in 533 AD, was canonised and buried in a small chapel just south of the city. It is after him that the city was renamed Reims, marking its importance as a pilgrimage site. Three centuries later, the coronation of King Louis I (le Pieux) in 816 AD was another important event that occurred at the cathedral, and it began a tradition of crowning the monarchs of France in Reims until the dissolution of the kingdom. The royal attention to the city afforded it lavish construction in mediaeval times, when grand churches were constructed, including the magnificent Gothic cathedral, la Notre Dame de Reims, a rival to those in Paris, Saint-Denis, and Chartres, and the Gothico-Romanesque basilica of Saint-Rémi, over the relics of the patron saint of the city. La Notre-Dame de Reims, Basilique Saint-Rémi, and adjacent structures, were inscribed in 1991 as World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO. Restoration notwithstanding, these historic structures were among the lucky few to have survived the terrible bombings of World War I, which destroyed about 80% of Reims. Although its history and architecture are glorious, no story of the city would be complete without a mention of Champagne, which is produced in the vineyards surrounding the city. Many of the major producers are headquartered in Reims and store the drink while it ages in the caves below the city itself.

  • Last visit to Reims: Nov 2010
  • Intro Updated Jan 7, 2012
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Reviews (34)

Comments (2)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jan 20, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    Somehow I missed the Musée-Abbaye Saint-Rémi when I was in Reims last October. It looks very impressive in your photos.

    • MM212's Profile Photo
      Jan 21, 2014 at 2:58 AM

      There is always a good reason to go back! Thanks for checking out my page.

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Dec 2, 2010 at 5:09 AM

    Thanx for your interesting story! ><><><

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