Reims, in the heart of Champagne

Wednesday, 28 December 2011 - 02:08 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  4 minutes

City Hall © Fryderyk

City Hall © Fryderyk

Reims, a city in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France, lies 129 km (80 mi) east-northeast of Paris. Founded by the Gauls, it became a major city during the period of the Roman Empire.

Reims played a prominent ceremonial role in French monarchical history as the traditional site of the crowning of the kings of France. The Cathedral of Reims (damaged by the Germans during the First World War but restored since) played the same role in France as Westminster Abbey has in the United Kingdom. It housed the Holy Ampulla (Sainte Ampoule) containing the Saint Chrême (chrism), allegedly brought by a white dove (the Holy Spirit) at the baptism of Clovis in 496. It was used for the anointing, the most important part of the coronation of French kings.

Some sources regard Reims as the effective capital of the province of Champagne, given its size as by far the largest city in the region. The 2008 census recorded 188,078 inhabitants (Rémoises (feminine) and Rémois (masculine)) in the city of Reims proper (the commune), and 291,735 inhabitants in the metropolitan area (aire urbaine).

Place Royale © Vassil Porte de Mars © Magnus Manske Place du Parvis © Magnus Manske Paris Gate © Magnus Manske Main station © Daiima Inside Basilique St Remi © Mattana Basilica St Remi © Mattana Reims Cathedral © Traveler100 City Hall © Fryderyk
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Inside Basilique St Remi © Mattana
The principal squares of Reims include the Place Royale, with a statue of Louis XV, and the Place Cardinal-Luçon, with an equestrian statue of Joan of Arc. The Rue de Vesle, the chief street (continued under other names), traverses the city from southwest to northwest, passing through the Place Royale. The Place Drouet d’Erlon in the city centre contains many lively restaurants and bars, as well as several attractive statues and fountains. During the summer it fills with people sitting outside the many cafés enjoying the summer sun, and in December it has a lively and charming Christmas market.

Reims, along with Épernay and Ay, functions as one of the centers of champagne production. Many of the largest champagne-producing houses, known as les grandes marques, have their headquarters in Reims, and most open for tasting and tours. Champagne ages in the many caves and tunnels under Reims, which form a sort of maze below the city. Carved from chalk, some of these passages date back to Roman times.

During World War II the city suffered additional damage. But in Reims, at 2:41 on the morning of 7 May 1945, General Eisenhower and the Allies received the unconditional surrender of the German Wehrmacht. General Alfred Jodl, German Chief-of-Staff, signed the surrender at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) as the representative for German President Karl Dönitz.

Read more on Reims Tourism, University of Reims, Wikitravel Reims, Wikivoyage Reims and Wikipedia Reims. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organisations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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