Reims is the City of Coronations and of Champagne. Bordered by the prestigious sloping vineyards of the Montagne de Reims, most of the great Champagne Houses are based in the city.
A network of some 120 kilometres of wine cellarslies beneath the city. Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Saint-Remi Basilica, the Tau Palace and the Saint-Remi Abbey Museum are all listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Each year, the cathedral welcomes some 1.5 million visitors.
In the year 498, Clovis King of the Franks was baptized by the bishop Remi, making him the West’s first Catholic sovereign. This important event made Reims the chosen city for crowning French kings.
33 kings were crowned in the cathedral of the “The Coronation City”.
During the First World War, 80% of the city was destroyed. Three decades later, on 7 May 1945, the Nazi surrender on all fronts was officially signed in Reims.
The history of Reims goes back more than two thousand years. According to legend,the city was founded by Remus, the brother of Romulus, founder of Rome.
On 17 July 1429, Joan of Arc succeeded in crowning Le Dauphin Charles VII in Reims. Every year, this event is celebrated during the Joan Festival. During the Fantastic War, the city’s inhabitants took shelter in the Champagne cellars.
Schools and hospitals were there set up and a sort of underground life developed.
Concerts were given and even an opera was performed.
With more than 20,000 students, nowadays Reims is an important university town. The city has served as a centre of higher learning since 1548.