REIMS AND THE SURROUNDING AREA
Reims is an exceptional city in more ways than one. The town of the coronation of kings, it is directly linked to the history of France and has monuments and sites whose reputation goes well beyond our borders.
CITY OF CORONATIONS AND OF CHAMPAGNE
More than ever, the cathedral's ange au sourire (smiling angel) gives Reims the face of a dynamic and welcoming town with a rich historic heritage.
Its underground also holds some beautiful discoveries for you, with around 200 kilometres of cut Gallo-Roman or Medieval chalk tunnels that house 250 million bottles of champagne. The cellars belong to names that have become prestigious, including some that can be visited and that show that wines have been produced here throughout history.
Wander through the streets, by night and day, to see the sites, monuments and museums bearing witness to the history of Reims, from the Gallo-Roman period to the Art Deco style. Savour the world of champagne and its gastronomy!
Take a walk to explore the town’s glorious past and the priceless treasures of its heritage.
Enjoy gourmet pleasures in good restaurants, enjoy the champagne, and soak up the excitement of the city centre...
The Reims Champagne territory isn't limited to just the city: you can also explore the Montagne de Reims Regional Natural Park, a natural gem dotted with charming wine-making villages. No less than 300 km of marked walking paths await you and you can also see the mysterious Faux de Verzy (“turtle beech” trees)...
UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES!
Reims, a town of art and history, has many unmissable sites listed by UNESCO World Heritage:
- The Notre-Dame cathedral and its remarkable Chagall stained glass windows,
- The Palais du Tau, a museum hosting the cathedral's works,
- The Basilica of Saint-Remi that houses the Holy Ampulla and the tomb of Saint-Remi
- The Abbey of Saint-Remi Museum, dedicated to the bishop who baptised Clovis
And, since 2015, the Colline Saint Nicaise de Reims has also been a UNESCO World Heritage Site listed as part of the Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars.
Not far from there is the delightful town of Fismes, near the border between Reims and Soissons, often touched by the prestige of the Kings of France, who passed through there on the way to their coronations in Reims. Thanks to green tourism, Fismes is a perfect balance between town and nature: the Green Belt in the Champagne region.
From its past, Fismes retains its restored church, its ramparts and gate columns, and a Pont Mémorial Américain (American Memorial Bridge), in remembrance of the bitter and bloody combats in 1918 that took place here in order to get over the Vesle.
Did you know ?
Fismes is also the birthplace of Uderzo, creator of the famous Asterix et Obelix.
CELLARS AND QUARRIES
If a visit to a prestigious champagne producer or town cellar constitutes an unmissable part of your trip, uncovering the secrets of the vineyards and of wine is also possible with the Champagne region wine-makers.
Don't miss the Route Touristique du Champagne de la Montagne de Reims, across nearly 70 kilometres you can roam through the “other” Champagne, more secret and intimate, whose rolling slopes are among the most beautiful riches the Champagne region has to offer!
ARCHITECTURE AND LANDSCAPES
The soul of the Champagne region is also in the heart of these little Roman churches in the Vallée de l'Ardre... They can be explored along a circuit that will lead you to picturesque villages and wonderful architectural heritage, recalling the Roman art of the Middle Ages.
Often strong and stocky, they are all topped with square or rectangular towers with a saddle roof. Severely damaged during the war, they were reconstructed while preserving their vaults, arches, columns, and saddled bell towers in honour of the builders’ artistry.
Chamery, Sacy, Marfaux, Chambrecy, Poilly, Coulommes-la-Montagne, Villedomange... Everywhere you go, you will be in awe of the beauty of nature and of the sites.
A few kilometres from Reims, don’t miss the Fort de la Pompelle. Listed as a historic monument and today serving as a Great War museum, it houses important and rich collections: uniforms, arms, everyday objects, but also an ensemble of headdresses and helmets from the German imperial army, unique in the world.
In Reims, at the Reddition Museum, you can also see the capitular hall where, on 7 May 1945, the unconditional surrender of the German armies was signed, thus ending the Second World War.
DID YOU KNOW?
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME...
Should he be proud of it or embarrassed? Deaf, one-eyed, hunchbacked, and lame, the character of Quasimodo, created by Victor Hugo, was inspired by the bell-ringer at the Abbey of Saint-Remi.
Arriving in Reims in 1825 for the coronation of Charles X, the author must have been quite amazed by the man’s deformity. Thanks to his wandering around, he would have seen, not long after, on the rue Folle Peine, a stunning young woman with the look of a gypsy.
In 1831, the musical monster and the dancing witch would become the contrasting heroes of "Notre Dame de Paris".
Reims Tourism Office - 6 rue Rockfeller - 51100 Reims - +33 3 26 77 45 00 - www.reims-tourisme.com
Fismes welcome center - 28 rue rené Letilly - 51170 Fismes - +33 3 26 48 81 28
Montagne de Reims Ragional Nature Reserve - Maison du parc - 51480 Pourcy - +33 3 26 59 44 44 - www.parc-montagnedereims.fr
WHO WAS THE LAST KING TO BE CROWNED AT REIMS?
- Louis XVI
- Charles X
- Louis XVIII
It was Charles X, on 29 May 1825. The last King of France to be crowned at Reims. Nostalgic for the absolute monarchy with divine right, he wanted a ceremony faithful to that of his ancestors.
In total, thirty Kings of France went to Reims to seek the anointing of the coronation and the presentation of their insignia from the 11th to the 19th centuries.
SELECTION OF GETAWAYS
Some suggestions for tours to explore Reims and the surrounding area, for a short walk or a long stay!
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims
Notre-Dame de Reims is one of the major creations of Gothic art in Europe. Included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites, this 13th...
Palais du Tau - Fermé pour travaux
A listed Unesco World Heritage site, the palace was the former residence of the bishops and then the palace of the archbishops of Reims...
Phare de Verzenay
Which other site could have accommodated this vine museum apart the heart of the vineyards of Champagne and the Regional Nature Reserve of...
A listed Unesco World Heritage site, this museum of history and archaeology from prehistoric times to the Renaissance comprises a 12th...
Moulin de Verzenay
The Moulin de Verzenay was restored in 1949 at the instigation of Mr Rémy, the then director of the Heidsieck vineyard. Structural work,...
An architectural symbol and the jewel of a combination of Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles, today it has become a major project of Paul-...