REIMS – www.reims-tourism.com
Three Cs – cathedral, coronations and champagne – are the three pillars of primary interest when visitors come to Reims. The powerful Gothic cathedral is what hits home first. Nearly destroyed by two world wars, it now stands proudly restored as the UNESCO World Heritage Site of more than 1,000 years of coronations, the place where 34 sovereigns were officially anointed. All wrapped in an extensive carpet of vineyards that produce the world’s supply of champagne. It’s a magical place, rounded out by Roman remains, art-deco buildings, four Michelin-starred restaurants and a nearby hiker's paradise of gorgeous forests and numerous wine villages.
Reims was more than 80% destroyed in World War I, but rebuilt in less than 10 years by more than 400 architects.
A bottle of champagne is opened every 10 seconds.
Cathédrale de Notre-Dame de Reims: for more than 1,200 years the place where the kings of France were coronated
Palais du Tau: a palace used as the residence of the kings during their coronations
biscuits roses: the famous pink biscuit, one of the oldest in France
champagne: Reims is a center of champagne production, home to the headquarters of large champagne-producing houses
Pauline Ferrand-Prévot: world champion cyclist who, in 2015, became the first person in the history of cycling to simultaneously hold the World road title, World cyclo-cross title and World mountain bike title
Also in the Area
Fort de la Pompelle: this 1880 fort now houses a World War I museum of military uniforms, weapons, canons and hats
Le Phare de Verzenay: the lighthouse the furthest from the sea, surrounded instead by grapevines and site of a vine museum
Faux de Verzy: the largest concentration of beech trees – rare trees, with twisted, knotted branches – anywhere in the world
Access from Paris
by road: about 1 h 30 min (90 miles) via the A4 autoroute de l'Est
by train: about 45 minutes by TGV from the Gare de l'Est
For more about what to see and do in and around Reims, including on the “Design & Romance” itinerary, visit www.topfrenchcitybreaks.com