City Guide: Reims
Reims is a city in East France and played a prominent role in French history. Its cathedral, Notre Dame, used to be the crowning site of French kings. As a Roman city it has many architectural highlights.
While many of these were destroyed during the first world war, Reims has also been able to preserve and restore some of its historically important buildings.
Exploring the historical circuit
For an easy walk-around tour, I would suggest following the circuit suggested by the Tourist Office. It includes most important sites. From the train station I started walking towards the center of the city. On the way I passed the Fontaine Subé, a statue, many different shops and little indoor malls as well as the old opera building.
Finally at the end of Drouet d’Erlon you find the Church of Saint Jacques in a little side street. By the way this is not the exact route suggested, but as I only got the map of the city at the tourist office near the cathedral I found my own way at first.
Then after passing the “new” Opera and the Justice Palace I reached the Christmas market surrounding the Cathedral of Reims.
Cathedral Notre Dame of Reims and Palais du Tau
I have told you a bit about my love for christmas markets already in our Life in Paris series, so naturally I was very excited to see such a big and nice christmas market on its opening day. While I find the atmosphere at christmas markets better in the evening, it was still very nice to stroll around. I also had a peak into the cathedral and passed the Palais du Tau which is on the same premises.
Reim’s Cathedral, Notre Dame, once was of great importance as many French Kings were crowned here. Sadly, the Cathedral was damaged severely in the First World War and thus had to be rebuild. The Palais du Tau, which was built in the early 16th century, served as a residence for the kings during coronation ceremonies. Nowadays you can visit it as part of a museum.
From the Cathedral I made my way towards the Place Royal. On the way, I passed the banking quartier (they have such beautiful banking buildings!) and continued towards Reim’s Town Hall.
Instead of finishing the suggested route towards the Halles du Boulingrin and Porte Mars, I returned to the central station to catch a pus to the Basilica Saint Remi.
Saint Remi Basilica
The Basilica is about 1.5 kilometres away from the Cathedral Notre Dame of Reims and comes in nearly the same size. Its construction can be dated back to the 11th century.
It has since been further improved and completed, thus creating a mix of different styles. Right next to it, you will also find the Abbey of Saint Remi and a museum.
My overall impression of Reims
I utterly enjoyed my visit of Reims. The weather was chilly, but not too bad and I was trying to escape busy Paris for a while. Reims was the perfect spot for this! I loved the christmas markets and the wonderful churches.
You liked this city guide? For exploring other cities, please check out our other city guides!