Reims Champagne Tour: The best activities !
Reims is a historic city located in the northeastern part of France. It is the largest city in the Champagne region and is known for its rich history, cultural heritage, and its association with Champagne production.
Reims is famous for its magnificent cathedral, Notre-Dame de Reims, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The cathedral is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and was the traditional site for the coronation of French kings. Its stunning stained glass windows and intricate sculptures make it a must-visit attraction.
In addition to the cathedral, Reims is home to numerous other historical sites and landmarks. The Palais du Tau, a former palace of the archbishops of Reims, now serves as a museum and showcases treasures related to the coronation ceremonies. The Basilique Saint-Remi, another UNESCO World Heritage site, houses the relics of Saint Remi, the patron saint of the city.
Reims is also renowned for its Champagne production. The city is surrounded by vineyards, and many prestigious Champagne houses have their headquarters or cellars in the region. Visitors can explore the Champagne houses, learn about the production process, and indulge in wine tastings.
Beyond its historical and gastronomic offerings, Reims has a vibrant cultural scene. The city hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, including music festivals, art exhibitions, and theatrical performances. The lively city center offers a range of shops, restaurants, and cafes where visitors can enjoy the local cuisine and soak in the atmosphere.
With its rich history, stunning architecture, Champagne heritage, and cultural vibrancy, Reims is a captivating destination that offers a unique blend of past and present.
Reims Champagne Tour : the best experiences !
Visit the Cathedral
The Cathedral of Reims, also known as Notre-Dame de Reims, is a magnificent Gothic cathedral located in the city of Reims, France. It is considered one of the most important cathedrals in France and holds great historical and cultural significance.
The cathedral was built between the 13th and 15th centuries and is known for its architectural grandeur and intricate details. It showcases the finest examples of High Gothic architecture with its soaring towers, ornate facades, and intricate sculptures.
Notre-Dame de Reims played a significant role in French history as the traditional site for the coronation of French kings. Starting with King Louis VIII in 1223, nearly all the French monarchs were crowned in this cathedral until the 19th century. The coronation ceremonies held in Reims Cathedral were elaborate and symbolized the divine authority of the French kings.
The interior of the cathedral is equally impressive, with its vast nave, stunning stained glass windows, and beautiful rose windows. The stained glass windows depict biblical scenes and saints, and they are considered some of the finest examples of medieval stained glass art.
The cathedral also houses numerous statues, including the famous Smiling Angel, which is a symbol of Reims. The Smiling Angel is located on the western facade and is renowned for its serene and joyful expression.
During World War I, Reims Cathedral suffered significant damage due to bombardments, but it was meticulously restored to its former glory after the war. Today, it is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site and continues to attract visitors from around the world who come to admire its architectural splendor and historical importance.
Visiting the Cathedral of Reims offers a unique opportunity to witness the grandeur of French Gothic architecture, appreciate its artistic treasures, and immerse oneself in the rich history and cultural heritage of Reims.
Visit the Palais du Tau
The Palais du Tau is a historical building located in Reims, France, adjacent to the Cathedral of Reims. It served as the palace of the Archbishop of Reims and was closely associated with the coronation ceremonies of the French kings.
The Palais du Tau has a long history, with its construction dating back to the 12th century. It was originally built as the archbishop’s residence and later served as a place for hosting royal banquets and festivities associated with the coronations.
The building’s name, “Palais du Tau,” refers to its T-shaped layout, resembling the letter “Tau” in the Greek alphabet. Over the centuries, the palais underwent several renovations and expansions, resulting in its current appearance, which showcases a blend of architectural styles.
Today, the Palais du Tau is a museum that displays a remarkable collection of treasures and artifacts related to the coronation ceremonies. Visitors can explore the building’s various rooms and halls, which have been meticulously restored to reflect their historical grandeur.
The museum houses a wide range of objects, including royal regalia, coronation robes, tapestries, sculptures, and religious artifacts. Some of the notable highlights include the coronation chalice used for anointing the kings, ceremonial crowns, and the impressive collection of tapestries depicting the life of Saint Remi.
The Palais du Tau provides a fascinating glimpse into the pomp and ceremony surrounding the coronations of French kings. It offers visitors an opportunity to learn about the rich history of Reims and its connection to the French monarchy.
Combining its historical significance, architectural beauty, and captivating collection, the Palais du Tau is a must-visit attraction for those interested in exploring the cultural heritage of Reims.
Reims Champagne Tour : Explore the Saint-Remi Basilica
The Saint Remi Basilica in Reims, France, is a stunning architectural masterpiece and an important religious site. It is named after Saint Remi, the bishop of Reims who baptized Clovis, the first King of the Franks, in 496 AD.
The basilica showcases a mix of architectural styles, primarily Romanesque and Gothic. Its exterior features intricate stone carvings and delicate rose windows, while the interior boasts soaring vaulted ceilings, elegant stained glass windows, and ornate chapels.
One of the most notable features of the basilica is the Saint Remi Chapel, a Romanesque structure that houses the relics of Saint Remi. The chapel’s richly decorated interior, adorned with frescoes and sculptures, is a testament to the craftsmanship of the medieval artisans.
Visitors can explore the basilica’s various chapels, admire the beautiful artwork, and learn about the rich history of the site. The basilica also houses a museum that displays religious artifacts and treasures, including medieval manuscripts, tapestries, and religious objects.
The Saint Remi Basilica is not only a place of worship but also an important historical and cultural landmark in Reims. Its grandeur and significance make it a must-visit destination for tourists and pilgrims alike.
Taste Champagne and Local Products : Reims Champagne Tour
Cooking in Reims, France, is influenced by the rich culinary traditions of the Champagne region. Here are a few aspects of cooking in Reims:
Champagne : Reims is renowned for being the heart of the Champagne region, where the world-famous sparkling wine is produced. Champagne is not only enjoyed as a beverage but also used in cooking. It can be used to add a touch of luxury and flavor to dishes like sauces, desserts, and even seafood.
Reims Mustard: Reims is also known for its traditional mustard, which has a distinct flavor and is often used in French cuisine. Reims mustard is made from brown or black mustard seeds and white wine or vinegar, giving it a tangy and slightly spicy taste. It is commonly used as a condiment, in vinaigrettes, marinades, and sauces.
Biscuits Roses de Reims: Biscuits Roses de Reims, or pink biscuits of Reims, are delicate and sweet cookies that are a specialty of the region. These light, airy biscuits are typically flavored with vanilla and have a slightly pink color. They are often enjoyed as a snack or used in desserts such as the classic French dessert, “le biscuit rose de Reims,” where they are soaked in champagne or a sweet wine and layered with fruits and cream.
These cooking products from Reims reflect the region’s culinary heritage and are treasured for their unique flavors and contributions to French cuisine.
Explore the Old District from Reims
The old district of Reims, also known as the historic center, is a charming and picturesque area that showcases the city’s rich history and architectural heritage. Here are some highlights of the old district:
Reims Cathedral (Notre-Dame de Reims): The crown jewel of Reims, the magnificent Reims Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. It served as the coronation site for French kings and is known for its stunning stained glass windows, intricate sculptures, and imposing façade.
Place Drouet d’Erlon: This bustling square is the heart of the old district and a vibrant hub for locals and visitors. Lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops, it offers a lively atmosphere and is a great place to enjoy a meal, sip champagne, or simply soak in the ambiance.
Porte de Mars: This ancient Roman triumphal arch is one of the most well-preserved Roman monuments in France. Built in the 3rd century, it once marked the entrance to the Roman city of Durocortorum (present-day Reims). The arch is adorned with intricate carvings and provides a glimpse into Reims’ Roman past.