France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Cathédrale de Notre-Dame de Reims
A masterpiece of Gothic architecture and the site of the coronations of 25 kings.

 
   

 

The beautiful Cathédrale Notre-Dame, right in the center of Reims, has a long and storied history and a vibrant life today.

Built in the 13th century, its elegant exterior is covered with intricate carvings and statues depicting traditional bible stories. It is known for its statues of angels with open wings, as well as the "Smiling Angel" (L'Ange au Sourire). Many of the statues seem to be communicating with each other.

The interior stained glass ranges from old Gothic windows to 21st century glass. The beautiful rose window is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Stained glass, Cathédrale de Reims, France

The interior also includes the kings' gallery, with its magnificent statues of kings in 13th century garb.

Starting with Clovis, the first king of France, Reims has been associated with royalty. Clovis was baptised at the nearby Basilique Saint-Remi. The Cathédrale (or its predecessor) was the home to more than 25 coronations, starting in the 11th century.

The Cathédrale Notre-Dame celebrated its 800th birthday in 2011. Over the centuries, it has suffered damage from various wars and battles, most notably World War I. But careful restorations and preservation have allowed it to retain its architectural and artistic beauty.

Exhibits about the history of the Cathédrale, as well as some of the original statues, are on display at the nearby Palais de Tau.

As part of the 800th birthday party, the town created a beautiful sound and light show, called Rêve de Couleurs (Dream of Colors). Shown on summer evenings (check with the Tourist Office for information), it beautifully illustrates the history of the Cathédrale and makes it come to life.



What to See & Do in Reims

Rêve de Couleurs

Palais de Tau

Hotels in Reims

Champagne Wineries

Reims Restaurants

Reims Transport

Tourist Information

About Reims

 

 

 

Cathédrale de Notre-Dame de Reims, France

Above, Facade of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims.

Below, Two saints seem to be waving to each other and communicating.

 

Saints communicating, Reims Cathedral, France

 

 

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