Situated in a former (and beautifull) benedictine abbaye (it was also used as an hospital for a while), the musee saint-Remi (just beside the basilique Saint Rémi) features the rich town's history, from the neolithic to the XXth century (scultures, artefacts, weapons, tapestries, ...).
The building itself is worth the visit with some parts fom the XII the century and a delicious cloister.
Address: 53 rue Simon - 51100 REIMS
monday-friday : 14h00 to 18h30
staurday-sunday : 14h00 to 19h00
included in the Reims museum pass (along planetarium, chapelle fujita, museedesbeaux arts, musee de la reddition): 3Euros for the pass
the audioguides are available at the tourism office
The room where the Germans first surrendered to Allied forces has not been changed since that time. The room is in the back of a Lycee, and yes students still attend. However through the back door and up the stairs is a small and moving museum. The story of the surrender, the fight over who should be there, the consequences, the other surrenders. It is an amazing story to the end of so much pride, and honor, valour and vainglory, effort on both sides to preserve and defend. A visit to the museum is a must for any history buff. It was the only reason we visited Reims. I would have liked to see the Cathedral- the obvious must see for the city. However we had friends waiting for us another two hour drive away and we couldn't dally. The museum was easy to find and get to. The docents were eager to share the story and their part in the history. We spent over an hour enjoying the very interesting artifacts, pictures and information. (best websites are in French, however the museum had English info)
If you are overwhemed by historical buildings, have a stroll around the center town. While there are not so many old houses left (WWI destroyed 80% of the city) - there are still some medieval and renaissance ones standing.
The photo has bee taken along place du forum
Don't miss this small gem hidden in a non descript commercial street (on your way from the railway station to the cathedral).
The Saint-Jacques church is the oldest is Reims and dates back to the 12th century (built in 1183 - to compare : the cathedral's building began only in 1211) when it was built as the seamstresses church.
It is a mix af roman and gothic style, while the original lower level remains, some parts were rebuilt during the Renaissance and the bell tower is from 1711 but the general medieval character remains.
Saint Jacques presents also very modern stainglasses by Joseph Sima and Helene Vieira da Silva (around 1970).
The atmosphere inside is delighfully peacefull, far from the busstle in the cathedral or even from the animated street.
Address : rue Max Dormoy
Epernay is the center of champagne cultivation !
On the left bank of the Marne, Epernay rivals Reims as a center for champagne. Although it only has one-sixth of Reims's population, Epernay produces nearly as much champagne as its larger sibling. It boasts an estimated 322km (200 miles) or more of cellars and tunnels. These caves are vast vaults cut into the chalk rock on which the town is built. Represented in Epernay are such champagne companies as Moët et Chandon (the largest), Pol Roger, Mercier, and de Castellane.
If you can't get enough - follow the guide :
Maison de Pommery The cellars are underneath the Gothic style house and gardens of 'House of Pommery'. Tours are available, but reservations are recommended. Open daily from 10-6. Closed Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday in winter months.
Mumm-Mumm has been making champagne since 1827. The cellars offer a video about the manufacturing process and tours of the miles of cellars housing more the 25 million bottles of champagne. Open daily from 9-11 and 2-5, except winter months when it is closed on weekend mornings.
Piper-Heidsieck This is one of the oldest champagne houses in the world, dating to 1785. Tours of the cellars are available via electric powered cars with prerecorded audio commentary available in 7 languages. Open from 9-12 and 2-5, closed Tuesday and Wednesday in the winter.
Taittinger - This is considered one of the best French champagnes, and one of the few cellars that is still family owned. There are one hour long tours through the ancient Roman cellars which date to the 4th Century. The tours not only provide information about the champagne making process, but also about Reims' history and the Taittinger family. Open daily from 9:30-12 and 2-4:30. Closed weekends in the winter.
Veuve Cliquot-Ponsardin - Tours last an hour and a half taking you through some of the 16 miles of cellars at this champagne house dating to the mid 19th century. Visits by reservation only.
Basilica de Saint- Remi - another highlight in Reims !
Reims is an ancient Roman city and the birthplace of the French nation – it contains one of the most impressive Gothic cathedrals in France, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims, where dynasties of French monarchs were crowned starting with Clovis, first king of the Franks. The neighbouring Basilique St-Rémi is even older and, half Gothic, half Romanesque in style, includes the old royal abbey which is now a museum documenting the history of the town
This is the oldest church in Reims, and dates back to 1007. The basilica is a great example of classic medieval French masonry. The abbey is now a museum and has a large collection of the history of Reims; regional archaeology; and military history. The basilica is open Sunday to Wednesday from 08h00 - 19h00 and Thursday to Saturday from 09h00 - 19h00. Admission is free for the basilica; and $1.80 for adults; free for children under 12, for the museum of St-Remi.
In the area around Reims there are many of such cemetaries commemmorating the soldiers that died during the First World War.
I always find those places very impressive.
I wrote the following poem based on “In Flanders Fields” by John Mc Crae and “Futility” by Wilfred Owen:
In English towns
In English towns, church bells ring
Because of Armistice, the people sing
to celebrate the end of war.
There’s a soldier at the Owens’ door
About their son he has news to bring
Only seven days ago this morning
He was killed by German firing
Such grief was never felt before
In English towns
He was on the continent teaching
Enraged by watching the young boys suffering
Became an officer and joined the war.
Of Futility - he shall write no more
He shall not sing, though church bells ring
In English towns
Jiske Erlings - March 2004
A proof that a college can be a sightseeing item - one needs it after pretty faceless Russian schools, colleges, and universities - architecturally, I mean. The whole set of 17th buildings, library, and a wood-panelled refectory date as far back as the 17th century. You can also see several artworks by Jean Hýliart - all (if I am not grossly mistaken) depicting the life of the Jesuitsý ýall-time starsý like Saint Franýois-Xavier and Ignatius of Loyola. Thereýs also a tiny museum with furniture exhibits pertaining to the Reims region.
To see both the museum and historical sections of the buildings youýd better visit in the afternoon, because (as I recollect) the museumýs shut in the morning.
Parc naturel régional de la montagne de Reims (Reims mountain regional parc).
The regional park is covered with hiking trails that includes circuits from 3/4 hour to a few days. You have also path where you can ride a bike or a horse.
The wagon where the armistice was signed (first and second wars) is in a beautiful park..The armistice wagon is in an enclosed structure and photos are prohibited inside of the car...The groundskeeper has a house next to the building housing the wagon and it is necessary to get him to open the museum (I must have been the only visitor that morning). He has a loud dog and aggressive dog..so just approach the house and the dog will make the introduction for you..he will than open museum..It really is worth a visit
It was very nice to stay at the campsite where we could see and practice all the watersports we liked ... But we had no time to practice one of them ! We went by bike all over the campsite and around the lake.
The tourist route of the wine of Champagne will lead you across the most interesting areas in the region where the Champagne wine is produced. Not only will you be able to visit the small cellars in the villages, but also you will admire the beatiful French landscape, the wineyards, the small lakes and the hills.
Smiling Angel: The cathedral is justly famous for many statues. The most beautiful of them is considered to be the statue of the so-called 'Smiling Angel', situated near the left entrance (if you stand facing the Cathedral).
just wander about the streets of Reims, which are partially lovely small streets where the residents still live, in cute litte houses