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Reims: the city where the kings of France were crowned

This article is also available in: Italian

Reims, the most populous city (about 190,000 inhabitants) of the Champagne-Ardenne region, is located in northeastern France about 130 km from Paris, on a plain along both banks of the Vesle, a tributary of the Aisne. The city is historically important and is rich in works of art, which is why in 1991 it was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There are three registered buildings: the cathedral of Notre-Dame (13th century), the royal abbey of Saint-Remi (11th century) and the palace of the Tau (former archbishop’s palace from the 16th century).

Reims was the ancient Roman city of Durocortorum, the capital of the province of Belgium starting from the reign of Augustus, as evidence of the city’s importance during the Roman Empire are still some monuments from this period, including the Porte Mars (III century AD) and the Cryptoporticus (III century AD).


Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral (Our Lady of Reims), is the cathedral where the kings of France were once crowned. A masterpiece of Gothic art, it was built in the 13th century, the facade is the most beautiful part of the building, and one of the great masterpieces of medieval art, the three portals are beautiful with the central one surmounted by a large rose window and the the bell towers, 81 meters high. The interior, over 138 meters long, has a central nave with aisles, transepts, a choir with double naves and an apse with chapels, many statues, stained glass windows from the 13th century, tapestries.

Near the cathedral is the Tau Palace, the ancient 16th century archbishop’s palace, now home to the museum which houses the cathedral’s royal treasury. Remains from the Roman period are the Porte Mars (3rd century AD) and the Cryptoporticus (3rd century AD). In the 11th century Saint-Remi abbey, which houses a historical-archaeological museum, the 12th century stained glass windows are very beautiful.

Among the city’s museums are noteworthy: the Musée-abbaye Saint-Remi, located in the former Benedictine royal abbey, is a museum of history and archeology. The Palais du Tau, houses the cathedral’s royal treasury. The Musée des Beaux-Arts. The Musée de la Reddition, with the room where the capitulation of Germany of the III Reich took place on May 7, 1945.

The Musée de l’automobile de Reims Champagne (Automobile Museum). Musée Hôtel le Vergeur, is the museum of old Reims.

TO VISIT IN THE SURROUNDINGS: A few km from Reims is the champagne tourist route (“route touristique du champagne”), a road that leads to admire the beauty of the landscapes of the region producing this noble wine and allows you to visit numerous cellars and wineries. There are two itineraries on this road that start from Reims: the first is that of the “Montagne de Reims”, a 70 km itinerary that connects Reims with Épernay and crosses one of the richest French wine-growing regions and a Regional Natural Park. The second route called the “Massif de Saint-Thierry” is also very picturesque and crosses beautiful countryside and many villages steeped in history.

The climate of Reims.


This article is also available in: Italian

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