One and a half hour after leaving Paris at Gare de l’Est, we arrived at Reims in Champagne-Ardenne region. “Champagne” comes from here in France, and from the train we saw vast vine yards everywhere.
the History of Reims
・In 498, Clovis in the Frankish Empire was baptized by Rémi, the bishop of Reims, and after that 10 successive French kings were crowned here.
・During the Second World War, Reims was occupied by Germany and received a lot of damage.
・ In 1991 Notre-Dame de Reims was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This is one of the three greatest Cathedrals (another one is Chartres) in France, where Charles VII was consecrated. It is also well-known that Joan of Arc attended the ceremony.
World Heritage in Reims
Notre-Dame de Reims
Open ：7：30am~7：30 pm
About 10 minutes on foot from Reims Station. The cathedral is standing in the middle of the city.
It was damaged by the German Army, but it is still grand enough to overwhelm visitors.
The whole building is an art work itself, and each work is elaborate.
The interior is also breathtaking.
I wonder how in the past such a cathedral was designed and actually erected.
Everything is in order.
The stained glass on the left was designed by Marc Chagall.
The original was destroyed during World War I.
I was amazed by the immense space.
The king curved on the stone (right) is holding the cathedral in his hand.
May~September 9:30 am~6:30 pm
September~May 9:30~12:30 2:00 pm~5:30 pm
Closed ： Mondays、 1/1 、 5/1 、 11/1・ 11、12/25
Behind Notre-Dame, Tau Palace is standing.
The treasures used for the coronation and the sculptures before renovation are exhibited here.
Open：8：00 am~7：00 pm
Museum of the Former Jesuits College
Under renovation （ as of November 2006）
A walk in Reims
Around Pl. Drouet d’Erlon there are many restaurants.
And we ate the specialty, choucroute, in this region.
Pork, sausage, bacon, ham with vinegared cabbage.
This is for 2 persons (30 euros), but it must be for 3 or 4 people!
After filling our stomachs, we walked to digest!
The city reminds us of the medieval times.
And speaking of Reims, it’s champagne. There are many wine factories.
Near the station, we found Port Mars which was made in the 3rd century.
It’s a remain from the Roman time.
Walking farther toward the east, a famous champagne factory named G.H.MUMM is standing on Rue du Champ de Mars.
G.H.MUMM 34、rue du champ de mars
9：00 am~10：50 pm 2：00 am~4：40 pm
Visits during the off-season, reservation required.
And when you are there, don’t miss the small chapel standing next to the factory.
It is called CHAPELLE FOUJITA.
33, rue du champ de mars
Closed ： Wednesdays、7/14
The name comes from a Japanese artist, Tsuguharu Fujita. He liked painting from his childhood and wished to study new art in France some day. After divorcing his first wife, he decided to leave Japan. He arrived in Paris in the 1930s and succeeded in making a name for himself. However, World War II was going to break out and Paris was going to be occupied by Germany, so he went back to Japan.
Back in Japan, he was forced to produce war pictures for propaganda under the orders of the Japanese Government. He created some paintings which were said to be beyond the war pictures in quality, but after the war ended he was accused of cooperating for the war.
He was disgusted by the action and again left Japan for France, and there he met the manager of G.H.MUMM, who also baptized him. He restarted his life as Leonard Tsuguharu Foujita
In 1966 he created a fresco painting for MUMM in return, and designed the chapel building, sculptures, and stained glass as well. It was when he was 80 years old, and two years later he died of cancer in Switzerland. His body is sleeping under the chapel now.
Shopping in Reims
You can’t go without buying champagne here!
We bought 3 bottles asking the clerk what is good.
: Philippe Gonet 2000 Homepage €35 (left)
:Gonet €20 (middle)
:Paul Dethune €20 (right)
Champagne cookies (left)
Rose crackers for dipping in champagne (middle)
Salty biscuits (right)
It was a nice trip. We learned the history, ate delicious food, saw the world heritage. There are many highlights.