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Reims Travel Guide

Reims Travel Guide, France: Information Tourism

Leon Shaw
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Reims Travel Guide, France. Information Tourism. Vacation Packages. Reims, the home of Champagne (the most celebrated and celebratory wine in the world), is the main city of the Champagne area. There stands one of the most beautiful buildings of the Middle Ages in Europe, one that is filled with history: almost all French kings were crowned there for about 1,000 years. Most of the old houses were destroyed during World War I, and the city was extensively rebuilt in the 1920's in an Art Deco style. Reims, Épernay and Ay are the main places of champagne production. Many of the largest champagne producing houses, referred to as les grandes marques, have their head office in Reims. Most are open for champagne tasting and tours by appointment only. Champagne is aged in the many chalk caves and tunnels, some originating in the Roman period, located deep inside the ground. The city centre is fairly small and easily walkable, with many streets for pedestrians only, mainly in the shopping area. Cathedral (Notre-Dame de Reims) the French equivalent, somewhat, for England's Westminster Abbey, the cathedral at Reims was the church in which numerous French monarchs were officially crowned. Reims is one of the later Gothic cathedrals and renowned for its height. There is a fine interior west facade with carvings of Biblical scenes; some fine 13c stained glass in the high windows of the nave and choir; and windows by Marc Chagall (in the eastern chapel) and the two local artists Jacques and Brigitte Simon. The south transept window by Jacques Simon shows themes linked with champagne including a portrait of the monk who invented it, Dom Perignon