CHÂLONS-EN-CHAMPAGNE AND THE SURROUNDING AREA
In the heart of the Champagne plain, Châlons-en-Champagne stretches along the Marne and springs up like a little Venice on the river.
If the Gallo-Roman period has left no traces, the Middle Ages, in contrast, have been most generous. The town has some real gems of religious, Roman, and Gothic architecture, to be explored by wandering through the streets and alleys...
Here, water and greenery reign supreme! No less than 11 hectares of greenery are spread across three gardens, with very different styles. The Petit Jard is a remarkable garden and shelters an arboretum and one of the monuments symbolising the town, the Château du marché (market castle). The Grand Jard, a French-style garden, is planted with chestnut and linden trees, and its vast cove houses some rare bird species. Finally, the Jard Anglais, which can be accessed via a lovely walkway, offers an unobstructed view of the Cathédrale Saint Etienne.
A "crazy" video on Châlons-en-Champagne
The Tourist Office, faithful to colorful, dynamic and innovative communication has made a call to a local talent for a breathtaking video!
Here water in the city plays the "star" of the video and is staged thanks to Leo Ginailhac who imagined the acrobatics of a wakeboarder on the Mau and the Nau.
Memorial sites for the Great War can also be explored around Châlons-en-Champagne, such as the Centre d'Interprétation Marne 14-18 in Suippes and its rich iconographic collection or the Chapelle Russe in Saint-Hilaire-le-Temple, which commemorates the soldiers who fell here during the conflict.
CULTURE AND EVENTS
THE TOWN OF PIERRE DAC, CHÂLONS-EN-CHAMPAGNE IS ENCOURAGING THE PERFORMING ARTS!
Each year the Festival Furies and its new creations breathe a moment of madness through the town’s streets.
Then we have music with the Festival des Musiques d'Ici et d'Ailleurs and five weeks or artistic discovery and mixing. In October, War on Screen, a young and unique international festival, tackles the theme of war and conflict on screen.
The town also has the honour of hosting within its walls the Centre National des Arts du Cirque, where artists who will go on to fill stages all over the world train and study.
Le patrimoine Unesco
TWO RELIGIOUS BUILDINGS ARE LISTED AS UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES AS PART OF THE CHEMINS DE SAINT-JACQUES DE COMPOSTELLE
The Notre-Dame-en-Vaux church is a real jewel with a harmonious mixture of Roman and Gothic art. Visitors can see remarkable 15th century stained glass windows and its 56-bell tower, one of the biggest in Europe, can be explored on organised tours with a climb up the tower.
A few kilometres away, the Basilique de l’Epine, a basilica with a real lacework of stone, was built on the very spot where, in the year 1400, the virgin appeared to a shepherd in a burning bush. Victor Hugo described it as a “splendid flower of Gothic architecture” and it is stunning with its two towers reaching into the sky and for the rarity of its rood screen.
MÉTAMORPH'EAUSES, A TRAVELLING LIGHT SHOW
Spurred by the success of these river cruises, the town is now offering a night-time cruise, a real travelling show of light and sound.
With Métamorph'euses, you will rediscover the town’s heritage in a different way, enhanced by a phantasmagoric scenography where shadow and light reveal imaginary realities...
A UNIQUE CHAMPAGNE CELLAR...
Sheltered underneath Gallo-Roman era chalk quarries, the Joseph Perrier cellars and their 3 kilometres of tunnels are historic... If they are used for transforming, aging, and storing wine, they are also the only ones in Châlons-en-Champagne that can be visited.
Lasting an hour and a half, the town's Tourism Office offers a unique experience in this stone cathedral to find out about some of the secrets in the process for making champagne...
MANY PEOPLE GREW UP IN CHÂLONS-EN-CHAMPAGNE BEFORE LEAVING THEIR NAMES TO POSTERITY...
Look for mentions of them around the town’s streets and monuments! At the bottom of the rue du Lycée is a sculpture of JEAN TALON, the first steward of what is now the province of Quebec, born in 1625; further on, you’ll pass by the lycée Bayen, named for PIERRE BAYEN, a member of the Institut, born in 1725. It was at number 16 on the place St Jean that NICOLAS APPERT was born in 1749. The inventor of canned food, he actually grew up at 2 rue Léon Bourgeois.
There is also JULES GARINET, a famous collector, whose residence on rue Pasteur was left to the town by his widow. At number 3 on the Boulevard Vaubécourt is the house whereETIENNE OEHMICHEN, the inventor of the helicopter, was born (1884); the great humorist PIERRE DAC, whose real name was André Isaac, was born in 1898 at 70 rue de Marne, while the sorely missed Jean Cabut, also known as CABU, gave Châlons its first press drawings.
Selection of Getaways
Some suggestions for tours to explore Châlons-en-Champagne and the surrounding area, for a short walk or a long stay!
Collégiale Notre Dame en Vaux
This church is a listed Unesco World Heritage site due to its association with the Routes of Saint-James-of-Compostela. It is a jewel of...
Basilique Notre-Dame de l'Epine
The building is a place of pilgrimage which is a listed Unesco World Heritage site. It has a remarkable lace-like flamboyant Gothic-style...
Centre d'Interprétation Marne 14-18
In this discovery centre dedicated to the events that occurred during the First World War on the front lines of the Champagne region, you...
Balades en Barque Métamorph'eau'ses
This boat trip along the waterways through centre of the town, known as “sparkling Venice”, is as stunning as it is magical… At night, the...