Place Drouet, Reims
A popular meeting point in the center of Reims is the Subé Fountain in the Place Drouet-d’Erlon.
To me the Subé Fountain doesn’t look at all like a fountain, more like a column, and the Place Drouet-d'Erlon doesn’t look like a square but more like a street that has been turned into a pedestrian zone.
The Subé Fountain was named after the merchant Auguste Subé (1807-1899), for the simple reason that he donated 200,000 gold francs to pay for it.
The column or fountain was inaugurated in 1906. Originally had a bronze statue at the top, but the statue was removed in 1942 by the Germans and presumably melted down for weapons production. For nearly half a century there was nothing at the top, until the current Flying Victory sculpture was installed in 1989.
As for Drouet-d'Erlon, he was a French General and later Marshal of France who was born in Reims in 1765 and had a long military career through some very troubled times and several changes of government. He died in Paris in 1844.
Next: A talk by Francis Albou
The most animated part of Reims, Place Drouet-d'Erlon is the cultural heart of the city. Although referred to as a square ("place"), it is in fact a long, tree-lined, pedestrianised avenue with boutiques, restaurants, cafés and cinemas located in the Belle Époque buildings along its sides. It is named after Jean-Baptiste Drouet, le comte d'Erlon, a military figure under Napoleon, born in Reims in 1765. At the southern end of the avenue is la fontaine Subé, a fountain erected in 1903, with beautiful sculptures representing personifications of the four major rivers that run through the Champagne-Ardennes region. A gilded statue of a winged Victory is mounted over a column that crowns the fountain. When I visited in November 2010, the entire avenue was getting ready to host a charming-looking Christmas market (see attached photos).
I had no idea what this fountain/monument was until I saw in on another VT page! Now I know. And to think that all this time I thought it was the screaming chicken of virginity...