The name is "Place Drouet d'Erlon", but for me it is a wide and short boulevard.
The fact is that a walk along this short boulevard, three blocks, becomes in a pleasant experience, even you can go ahead beyond the end of it and still walking along the Rue Theodore Dubois in your way to the cathedral, and believe me when I tell you that is nice enough.
The boulevard in itself starts at the square Colbert, in front of the TGV railway station, and is a pedestrian boulevard plenty of shop, pubs, restaurants, cinema, and everything you can imagine, all arranged with the proverbial French good taste.
Walk, use thos legs you have, and take your time, stop for a coffe, or a beer, watch, observe, breath, and still walking. This city well worth the effort.
This is a small and simple but very powerful museum portraying one of the most historic events of the 20th Century . It was General Eisenhower’s headquarters at the end of WWII and it was in the conference room lined with battle maps that General Jodl unconditionally surrendered on May 7, 1945. World War II was finally over! There is a very good, short film that is worth seeing and a good number of photographs, newspaper articles, etc. in the rooms. The map rooms are just as they were then and the chairs around the table are labeled.
For reasons of protocol that I don’t fully understand, but sense they were correct, General Eisenhower was not at the signing, but handed the reins over to his chief of staff, General Walter Bedell Smith.
Interestingly, the headquarters was in one end of a school. The rest of the building is still a school now named, interestingly enough, Lycee Roosevelt, but still has a sign above the main entrance saying, Lycee Roosevelt.
There are a number of photos in the museum which are worth a look. I have inclluded one of the signing and one of General Eisenhower and Chief Deputy Commander of SHEAF, Arthur Tedder. I think the photo was taken right after the signing when Eisenhower was broadcasting the news.
You will, probably need only a couple of hours to walk through the museum. It is not big, but it is nessecary for those who like art.
First I discovered works of the grandson of the Karl Marx here. Look for them in modern art section. Also there is a wonderful work of art made out of bird egg shell pieces...
There is "The death of Marat" by David. A lot of works by Camille Corot.
In this picture from the brochure you see HOTCHKISS 411 COACH 1933.....isn't it a beauty?
In a second hall you can walk around, mouthwatering, looking at Alcyon, Peugeot, Monet-Goyon, Motobécane, BSA, DKW, Harley-Davidson MODELS and more........as e.g. the first SOLEX and bikes dating back from the start of the 20th Century.
The Museum was created in 1985 by Philippe Charbonneaux.
The collections are renovated at certain times.....they are working there like busy bees.....they want more and better just to please us THE VISITORS.
OPEN: daily except on Tuesdays from 10AM till noon and from 2PM till 6PM
This shockingly modern glass cube, completed in 2002 by the architect, Jean-Paul Viguier, is an annex to the public library that focuses on media and culture. It is located in the heart of Reims, right across from the Notre Dame Cathedral, and was thus originally called Médiathèque Cathédrale. In 2007, it was renamed Médiathèque Jean Falala, after the former mayor of Reims who died in 2006. The sleek look of the building is definitely a contrast to the centuries old cathedral and surrounding buildings, but both the reflection of the Cathedral on the glass of the building and the view from within are simply stunning...
Completed in 1928, la Bibliothèque Carnegie is stunning example of Art Déco architecture. It was designed by Max Sainsaulieu and funded by the foundation of Andrew Carnegie, the Scottish-American philanthropist, soon after WWI destruction necessitated a major rebuilding of the city, hence the name of the library.
Originally built as a Benedictine monastery in the 12th century, this complex was purchased by the Jesuits in 1616 soon after King Henri IV granted them permission to found a college in Reims. The Jesuits subsequently enlarged and modified the complex to the form we see today. When the order was suppressed in 1762, the complex was turned into a hospital. Nowadays, l'Ancien Collège des Jésuites is partly occupied by a multi-functional cultural centre with a planetarium, and the rest is used by SciencesPo as a university campus . Some of the historic treasures within are open to visitors.
Soon after the Jesuits obtained permission to establish a college in Reims in 1606, they purchased an ancient Benedictine monastery and its associated 12th century church, Église Saint-Maurice. In 1620, parts of the interior of the church were remodelled, but the rest remained the same Romanesque-style until the 19th century. Between 1867 and 1876, the façade and nave of Église Saint-Maurice were entirely rebuilt in a Renaissance revival style, more common among Jesuit churches, thus completely erasing any surviving Romanesque details. The niches in the façade of the church contain statues of Saints Maurice and Martin.
Located behind Basilique Saint-Rémi are the ruins of the mediaeval quarter of Saint Rémi. It was originally a village separate from the city of Reims and had developed around the tomb of the saint and his basilica to cater to pilgrims. Nowadays the area with the ruins of a church and other structures has been turned into a public park. A statue of Saint Rémi baptising King Clovis I was erected to commemorate the historic event. It is also in this quarter that Victor Hugo was inspired to write the Hunchback of Notre Dame after meeting Esméralde, a beautiful gypsy, and Albert Nicart, the hunchbacked bell-ringer of Saint Rémi, whose nickname was Quasimodo.
The oldest surviving residential palace in Reims, l'Hôtel des Comtes de Champagne dates from the 14th century. Its façade contains a series of beautiful Gothic windows and a few blind Gothic arches, overlooking rue de Tambour, which was the in the heart of the commercial district of mediaeval Reims. In WWI bombings, the mansion suffered extensive damage, but it was subsequently restored. Adjacent to it, however, once stood another Gothic hôtel particulier, known as Maison des Musiciens, that did not survive the bombings. Some its façade was salvaged and reconstructed at the Museum of Saint-Rémi. l'Hôtel des Comtes de Champagne is nowadays owned by the Champagne producer Taittinger and is used for special events.
This castle-like structure with conical towers was built in the 16th century. It was once the main entrance into the enclosure of the Cathedral of Reims and led into its northern entrance. While la Porte du Chapitre is no longer in use as the canonical entrance, the structure has been preserved and incorporated into the construction of adjacent buildings. The walkway through it still leads to the cathedral via a long cobbled path.
Located in the heart of town, le Palais de Justice is the courthouse of Reims. It was built in 1839 in a Neoclassical style, complete with a pediment supported by Doric columns at its entrance on rue Carnot. The site chosen for its construction had previously been occupied by an ancient hospital, known as Hôtel Dieu Notre Dame. The rear façade of the Palais de Jusice faces the Notre Dame Cathedral.
Created in 1760 during a major urban planning project led by the engineer, Jean Gabriel Legendre, Place Royal is surrounded by typical Louis XVI architecture with straight lines and right angles. It is reminiscent of Place de la Concorde in Paris, which was created only a few years earlier, and is a contrast to the Gothic Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral in its background. The building on the south side, with a Neoclassical pediment, is known as l'Hôtel des Fermes and currently houses an administrative office of the local government.
Inaugurated in 1873, the opera house of Reims was originally known as le Grand Théâtre. Its name, however, was officially changed to l'Opéra de Reims only very recently. The beautiful edifice was designed by the architect, Alphonse Gosset, who followed the eclectic style in fashion at the time (similar to Opéra Garnier in Paris). In WWI, the theatre suffered severe damage, but it was subsequently restored with an Art Déco interior, though the façade remained faithful to the original design. The theatre continues to be the city's largest and most important theatre and opera venue.
Built in 1628, l'Hôtel de Ville is the grandest Renaissance-period edifice in Reims. It was purposefully built as the city hall in a French-style, but with a subtle hint of Flemish, particularly in its central clock tower. Construction was intermittent along the way due to shortage of funds, but when it was finalised in the 19th century, it had not deviated from the original design. Unfortunately, l'Hôtel de Ville was almost completely destroyed in a fire during WWI, so much of what we see today is from a subsequent reconstruction, also faithful to the original design.
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