City of coronations, City of champagne? Reims is eager to unveil the legacy of its glorious history and immerse yourself in the worlds most prestigious and most famous festive wine.
Rich traditions and know-how secular Reims has also become a regional metropolis modern and dynamic thanks to its location at the crossroads of several trans-European routes, with its highly diversified economy and its center of excellence in teaching and research .
Four sites on the World Heritage List of UNESCO, the refined atmosphere of Champagne Houses, a city immersed in an atmosphere imbued with both the elegance of Art Deco facades and streets and relaxed cafes terraces lively program of events rich and varied natural environment where green is king? Reims opens its doors and welcomes you.
A two thousand year history ...
The ancient Reims: According to legend, was created by Reims Remus, the brother of the founder of ancient Rome. The Celtic people who lived in the region have thus taken the name of Remi. Around 80 BC, they established an oppidum they named Durocortero ( "Fortress Round"). After the Roman conquest, Durocortorum is incorporated into the province of Belgium and became the capital. At its peak, with its 30 000 inhabitants, the Gallo-Roman city became one of the more populated north of the Alps.
Around 260 is founded the bishopric of Reims. During the great invasions in 407, Bishop Nicaise is massacred by the Vandals in front of the church he had built. He became the patron saint of Reims.
The baptism of Clovis: The baptism of Clovis, king of the Franks, by Remi, bishop of Reims occurred on Christmas Day 498 in a baptistery whose site is now occupied by Notre Dame. The conversion of Clovis to Christianity, a religion of a church heir of Roman power, allowed him to legitimize its military grip on Gaul then divided.
It was after this baptism, which sealed the reconciliation of Church and State, born as the monarchy of divine right French. It is also thanks to him that Reims become the seat of kings of France.
The city of coronations: In 816 occurred the first Reims royal coronation, that of Louis the Pious. The ceremony, usually five hours long, took place in Notre Dame, since it was built. She continued by the coronation banquet at the Palais du Tau and a pilgrimage to the body of Bishop Remi, in the basilica dedicated to him. The coronation of the most memorable is that of the dauphin Charles VII, to Reims led by Joan of Arc July 17, 1429 after the siege of Orleans. A total of 33 sovereigns have been crowned at Reims, the latest being Charles X in 1825.
In the Middle Ages, Reims prospered by selling her sheets, linens and other textile fairs in the south of Champagne and trade with the Hanseatic League. The rise of champagne, from the reign of Louis XIV, came complete range of its productions.
Two of the most famous children in the city, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Comptroller General of the King, and Jean-Baptiste de La Salle, precursor of modern pedagogy, Reims born in the 17th century.
The modern Reims: As elsewhere, the industrial revolution overthrew the appearance of the city, which grew from 30 000 to 120 000 inhabitants in less than a century. Rich mansions replaced the houses with wood sides. Some of the first international airshows were held at Reims the early 20th century. Reims is indeed one of the cradles of aviation.
Then came the First World War. On September 4, 1914, a month after the start of hostilities, the German army entered Reims. It was quickly rejected, but she is entrenched in the forts around. Hence, the Wehrmacht bombard the city for 3 ½ years. The cathedral, very hard hit, receiving nearly 300 rounds. The seat will result in the destruction of 80% of the city and killed more than 5 000 people.
The new Reims, which rises from the rubble in the inter-war years through the intervention of 325 architectural firms, has a face full of eclectic in its architecture, marked in particular by the Art Deco style.
The Second World War affected the little town. During the conflict, welcomed the Reims Eisenhower's headquarters. There, May 7, 1945 at 2:41, General Alfred Jodl, commander of the Wehrmacht, signed the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany. The text, drafted in haste by members of the staff of Eisenhower, was to halt the imminent conflict. It was ratified in Berlin the following day by the heads of allied states.
On July 7, 1962, German Chancellor Adenauer and General de Gaulle sealed at Notre Dame reconciliation between peoples and French and German Reims erected as a symbol of peace between Germany and France.
The Cathedral: This masterpiece of Gothic art is one of the major achievements in medieval Europe. Built in the 13th century, it has features that make it unique: its exceptional unity of style, brightness and richness of its statuary. Designed to accommodate the coronation of the kings of France, she was provided with the most beautiful facade of the kingdom. The other side of the facade is unique sculptures by occupying niches that cover its entire surface. 2 303 adorned with sculptures, the Cathedral Reims is the only church to have angels with wings, including the famous Smiling Angel on the left portal of the facade. The gallery of kings alone has 56 statues of a size of 4.5 m. The interior takes its clarity and the vertical stab. The nave and the choir stand on three levels: arcades, clerestory, clerestory windows and blind. The famous stained glass windows dating mostly from the 13th century. This applies to those of the big pink facade. The three windows of the axial chapel are the work of Marc Chagall (1974). The two towers reach a height of 81 m. The roof height of the building is 38 m and its total length is around 150 m.
The Basilica of Saint-Remi: This Romanesque-Gothic church is one of the most remarkable achievements of Romanesque architecture in northern France. 126 m long, it impresses with its depth and sense of intimacy it brings. It was built in the 11th century to house the relics of Saint Remi, the bishop who baptized Clovis in 498. His tomb is in the center of the choir. The sober Romanesque nave and Gothic choir (late 12th century) to four storeys are an impressive set of lightness and harmony. The facade was rebuilt along with the choir.
The Palace of Tau: The residence of the Archbishops of Reims adjoins the cathedral since the 12th century, but he did put on a classic look that now after the changes made in the late 17th century by Jules Hardouin -Mansart and Robert de Cotte. The Tau Palace now houses the Museum of the Work of Our Lady. The treasure of the cathedral and part of the original statues of the church are exposed. The hall of Tau, which was held in the banquet of the coronation, is decorated with tapestries of the 15th century that chronicle the history of "Fort Roy Clovis. The most remarkable pieces of the royal treasury of the cathedral is the talisman of Charlemagne (ninth century) and the Chalice of St. Remi (twelfth century). The reliquary of St. ampoule contains the original oil which was heavenly anointed the new king at the ceremony of his coronation.
The Musée-Abbaye Saint-Remi: Housed in the buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries of the ancient Abbey of Saint-Remi, this museum holds important collections on the history Reims from prehistory to the Second World War . The museum has four sections: the history of the abbey, with the visit of the buildings are organized around a cloister of 1709; Reims the Gallo-Roman, old kitchens and dining rooms of the abbey; Regional archeology, where an exhibition of collections ranging from prehistory to the 16th century military history, which recalls the close relationship between Reims and the warlike past of France, the Gallic War to the Nazi surrender in 1945.